SPLOST V committee to meet at Luella Middle School

Map of possible SPLOST V projects in district II (staff photo)

The next meeting of the SPLOST V committee will occur on Thursday, January 24, at 6:30 pm at Luella Middle School to discuss recommendations for commission district II. Note that all projects are recommendations only until the board of commissioners approves the final project list in summer 2019.

Residents of district II are encouraged to attend the meeting. The district includes Hampton, Luella, South Point / Avalon, Mt. Carmel / Dutchtown, and the Pates Creek area. The meeting is open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend.

Major roadways within the district include Hampton-Locust Grove Road, Jonesboro Road, Jodeco Road, state route 20, state route 81, state route 155, and US highway 19 / 41. Georgia DOT projects programmed within the district include the following:

Project Phase Program Year
Western Parallel Connector Scoping 2017
(Hudson Bridge to Jonesboro Road) Preliminary Engineering 2018
Right of Way 2020
Utilities 2023
Construction 2023
Georgia 155 Widening Preliminary Engineering 2025
(I-75 to Bill Gardner Parkway) Right of Way 2027
Utilities 2029
Construction 2029
Jonesboro Road Widening Preliminary Engineering 2006
(I-75 to US 19 / 41) Preliminary Engineering 2014
Preliminary Engineering 2028
Right of Way 2031
Utilities 2034
Construction 2034
Georgia 81 at New Morn Drive Preliminary Engineering 2017
Roundabout Right of Way

Blanks underneath program year represent a phase that has not yet been budgeted by Georgia DOT. Information was accessed via the state website during the week of January 7, 2019 and is subject to change.

The most notable Georgia DOT project within the district is the western parallel connector, a new four-lane roadway to be built between Hudson Bridge and Jonesboro Road. The project is forecast for construction in 2023.

Long-range projects within the district include the SR 155 widening between I-75 and Bill Gardner Parkway, and the Jonesboro Road widening between I-75 and US 19 / 41. The projects are forecast for construction in 2029 and 2034, respectively.

The SPLOST IV project list included funding for preliminary engineering to widen highway 155, but the project has not let for design. The commissioners have approved several budget amendments over the years reducing available funds and not enough dollars remain to fund the project phase.

The budget amendments were as follows:

  • December 2015 – $500,000 from SR 155 to Hampton Senior / Recreation Center
  • December 2015 – $235,000 from SR 155 to Fire Station 14 in Luella
  • April 2016 – $200,000 from SR 155 to district II resurfacing
  • November 2018 – $356,635 from SR 155 to South Cleveland Church dirt road paving

The SR 155 project has $1,468,365 in current SPLOST funding. Preliminary engineering is estimated by the state at a cost of $3,184,000.

The widening project on Jonesboro Road was postponed by Georgia DOT during summer 2018. The first committee meeting for district II heard from many area residents frustrated with the multiple delays incurred on the project. Local dollars could be an option to purchase right of way between Mill Road and Chambers Road, with additional dialogue required with Georgia DOT regarding the cost of construction.

Another possible project involves Jodeco Road between Chambers Road and Hudson Bridge Road. If the Everly Henry development builds, then the roadway will need widened to four lanes.

The traffic study for the project, completed in 2015, estimates the development to generate 34,317 new daily vehicle trips. From that, 14% of trips are expected to travel on Jodeco Road between Chambers and Flippen Road. The study recommended the road widened to four lanes and turn lanes added at multiple intersections.

Henry County included the roadway within the county’s 2017 solicitation for federal dollars, but did not receive funding for the project. At that time, preliminary engineering and right of way acquisition were estimated to cost $4.7 million.

In November 2018, the Henry County BOC approved a rezoning of 683 acres off Lower Woolsey Road for industrial space. The traffic study for that project found two intersections along US 19 / 41 will require future signalization as a result of background traffic growth. Those intersections are:

  • US 19 / 41 at Speedway Boulevard
  • US 19 / 41 at Lower Woolsey Road

The traffic study estimated the cost of improvements at $750,000 each. The intersections have not been mentioned during a SPLOST V committee meeting, but should be considered now that the BOC has approved the rezoning request.

Other transportation projects mentioned at previous meetings have included the following:

  • Flippen Road extension (new roadway) connecting the Dutchtown schools and Jonesboro Road
  • Jonesboro Road at Mitchell Road intersection improvement
  • SR 81 at McDonough/ Lovejoy Road (located beside Culver’s in McDonough)
  • Mill Road at Mt. Carmel Road (continuation from SPLOST IV)
  • Mt. Carmel Road at South Mt. Carmel Road (SPLOST II not completed project)
  • SR 155 at Greenwood Industrial Parkway intersection improvement
  • Hampton-Locust Grove Road over Towaliga River bridge improvement

Capital projects mentioned at previous meetings have included the following:

  • Nash Farm master plan / amphitheater
  • Recreation Center in district II

The committee is budgeting projects worth $18,811,000 within each commission district, following the adoption of $71 million in countywide project recommendations. That amount may be reduced by an additional one million dollars per district if the BOC approves a development agreement to build a conference center on Jodeco Road. The agreement commits $5 million dollars towards internal roadways for the development.

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. The website provides local news coverage in Henry County, Georgia.