Plans to construct a new interstate exit at Bethlehem Road have been approved by the federal highway administration. The interchange justification report was approved in only a few months after being submitted for review.
The next steps include advancing the project within the Transportation Improvement Program overseen by the Atlanta Regional Commission and placing design out for quotes.
The project has been assigned an ARC project ID, AR-955, and is programmed within the long-range project tier of the regional transportation plan. A request for projects will be conducted next year by the regional commission and Henry County will pursue federal funding for the project within that process.
To date, all project activities have been funded with Henry County SPLOST IV dollars. Expenditures to date total $238,673 covering the interchange feasibility study and interchange justification report. Remaining funds of $5.2 million are sufficient to cover preliminary engineering and the environmental impact study.
The design process will take two to three years. When the environmental report has been completed, it will be submitted to FHWA before Henry County can receive a final approval to build the new exit.
Right of way acquisition could start in 2021-2022 and take about two years to complete. Construction is tentatively planned to start by 2025 with the new exit open by 2028. Henry County is working with Georgia DOT and the Atlanta Regional Commission to secure state and federal funding to cover right of way and construction. Total project costs are estimated at $40-50 million.