Henry Minutes March 28, 2021

Photo of downtown Locust Grove with cargo train in the background (Atlanta Regional Commission photo)

In today’s Henry Minutes, I cover two recent local agreements with Georgia DOT, the resurfacing let date for Jonesboro Road and property acquisition continues on SR 42 in downtown Locust Grove. Henry Minutes is a collection of news from around Henry County.

Bill Gardner Parkway widening

On Tuesday, March 16, Henry County approved an agreement with Georgia DOT. The agreement covers the widening of Bill Gardner Parkway between I-75 and state route 155.

Henry County applied for federal funds on the project in fall 2019. The widening was selected last fall to receive $1 million dollars. In addition, the county must contribute $250,000 or twenty percent. The funding will pay for scoping work.

Scoping includes developing a concept report that describes a recommended project “footprint” following analysis. From the Georgia DOT guide to plan development process:

“Analyses may include, but [is] not limited to: traffic and operational studies, accident analysis, determination of project deficiencies, planning requirements, environmental studies, study of alternatives, consideration of MS4, permit requirements, social and economic considerations, utility considerations, right-of-way impacts, etc.”

The project plans to widen the 3.4 mile corridor from two to four lanes. Previous concepts included a six-lane section from I-75 to Lester Mill Road, but scoping activities may shorten the six-lane section or remove it altogether.

The county’s recent agreement with Georgia DOT allows the county to let design work for the project, and administer federal funds. Hiring an engineering firm as the design consultant will be the next step in the project.

SR 42 study in Locust Grove

Similar to the county’s agreement, the city of Locust Grove also approved a local agreement during their council meeting on March 15. The agreement pertains to an upcoming study.

The intent of the study is two-fold:

  1. To study state route 42 in downtown Locust Grove, and identify recommended short and long-term improvements. Examples may include auxiliary lanes or a future bypass.
  2. To recommend the best location(s) to construct grade-separated railroad crossings. Locust Grove has an agreement with Norfolk Southern to build two bridges or underpasses.

The present boundaries of the study include state route 42 between Marketplace Blvd and MLK Jr Drive. The city council requested the study limits expand north to Colvin Drive.

Locust Grove has $100,000 for the cost of the study. In addition, Georgia DOT is contributing $800,000 towards the study. The 8:1 dollar ratio is twice the typical ratio between state and local dollars.

The study builds upon projects already underway. They include installing a signal at SR 42 and Marketplace Blvd, and widening work discussed below.

SR 42 right of way

Georgia DOT is presently buying right of way for the widening of state route 42 in downtown Locust Grove. The project will build a southbound auxiliary lane between Bill Gardner Pkwy and Peeksville Road. When complete, the second lane will improve the evening traffic congestion.

The project must buy right of way from seven parcels. The city agreed to sell its portion of two parcels to the state in December. Earlier this month, the county approved selling right of way off three parcels. Private property owners own the other parcels. The project has no displacements.

Construction has state funding in FY 2023 with an estimated cost of $1.22 million.

Jonesboro Road resurfacing

Finally, last fall’s round of federal funding also included the resurfacing of Jonesboro Road. The project extends between Mt Olive Road and the Clayton County line. Now, letting for the roadwork is on GDOT’s schedule.

The project is on the calendar to let in June. Henry County will handle letting the project and awarding a contract. The estimated cost is $2.8 million dollars. Federal dollars in the amount of $2.24 million will help fund the work.

In addition, Clayton County applied for and received federal funds to resurface McDonough Road between Fayette County and Henry County. The project is also scheduled for a local let in June 2021.

Featured image shows downtown Locust Grove. Credit to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

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About Clayton 939 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. Since 2017, he has written over 900 articles sharing local updates with the community. Now, in 2022, he is running for Georgia State House District 117 to advocate for Henry County at the State Capitol.