Officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation have scheduled a July 10 public information open house to discuss with Paulding residents and business owners the location and design of the planned widening of more than five miles of Hwy. 92 from Nebo Road to Ga. Hwy. 120, also known as Marietta Highway, said Erica Parish, pre-construction manager with the Paulding County DOT.
“The purpose of the open house is to provide the public with an opportunity to view the proposed project, ask questions and make comments,” Parish said.
The meeting is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Events Place at 855 Hiram-Douglasville Hwy. in Hiram.
In addition, GDOT will accept written statements through July 21 about the project from those unable to attend, she said.
The project length is 5.7 miles and bisects the heart of the Hiram retail district along U.S. Hwy. 278.
“This is the most congested area in Paulding County,” Parish said.
It is planned to include the replacement of the Norfolk Southern Railroad and Silver Comet Trail bridges and the highway’s widening from two 12-foot lanes to four 12-foot lanes, including two lanes each going north and south bound.
Parish said the widening portion of the project would primarily remain along the existing highway route.
“However, between Main and Church streets, the alignment would shift to the west approximately four-tenths of a mile to avoid the historic Hiram district,” she said.
The project also will include a 20-foot raised median between the dual north and south bound lanes, plus other improvements.
In addition to the actual widening of Hwy. 92 to four lanes, two each for northbound and southbound traffic, extensive work is also planned on curbs and gutters in addition to the installation of five-foot wide sidewalks.
The existing right of way in the area is about 80 feet but the project design calls for the right of way to be about 100 to 125 feet, Parish said.
The long-awaited widening has been in the planning stages since the early 1980s and there is still no timetable for groundbreaking for the project.
However, the good news for Paulding residents is the 5.7-mile project will be paid entirely by state and federal funds with no local funding required, Parish said.
“The GDOT is awaiting completion of environmental impact studies, which is a major factor in determining an actual start date for the project,” Parish said.
In addition to an undetermined start date for the project, no information has been received from state or federal officials as to how long the project will take to complete.
Parish said the project kept being delayed due to the desire to preserve the historic nature of the area.
“We needed for the project design to work around this historic area,” she said.