McDonough One-Way Pair on schedule to be completed by June 2019

Map of McDonough One-Way Pair project
Map of McDonough One-Way Pair project (McDonough photo)

The McDonough One-Way Pair project started construction in summer 2017. The project is completing one-way streets throughout downtown McDonough that were first envisioned in the 1980s.

Georgia DOT recently provided an update about the project to the McDonough city council. All work is on schedule to be complete by June 30, 2019.

There are no plans to open any segment of the project ahead of schedule. Though the new curve on SR 81 beside Henry County High School may appear finished, there is one more final layer of asphalt to go that cannot be set until springtime when temperatures have warmed up. Contractors are preparing to start work on sidewalks in the area.

The new extension for SR 155 beside city hall, connecting John Frank Ward Blvd and Keys Ferry Street, needs traffic signals before it can be opened. The contractor will be using the new roadway as a staging area to install the two traffic signals at either end of the extension.

The most complex work of the entire project is west of the McDonough square, connecting Jonesboro Road (SR 920) and Hampton Street (SR 20 / 81). Much of that work is awaiting Norfolk Southern to expand the railroad crossing on Jonesboro Road. The road will be closed for 3-5 days while the railroad expands the existing two-lane crossing into a four-lane crossing with additional warning devices and larger drop gates. That closure has not yet been scheduled.

The planned railroad crossing work and related road closure presented the opportunity to install a traffic signal at McDonough Parkway and SR 20 / 81. Many residents will remember that an inactive signal hung over the intersection for much of the year; the original plan was to use the signal only for detour traffic while Jonesboro Road was closed then remove it. Henry County and McDonough worked with Georgia DOT to install a light for long-term use at the intersection. That traffic light activates Tuesday, December 18, much to the delight of area residents.

One final element of the project is installing a roundabout at Jonesboro Road, Doris Street, and Alexander Park West. Contractors are working on that intersection now, and after the railroad work has been completed, traffic will shift to the new lanes in the area. The intersection will be the first multilane roundabout in Henry County.

The McDonough One-Way Pair is a state-funded project with total estimated costs of approximately $22 million. The concept was first envisioned in the 1980s and preliminary engineering first occurred in 1995. The ongoing construction is only six months away from completing a project decades in the making.

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