“We’ve gotten these five projects that have made it through the process,” said Randy Hulsey, director of the county’s transportation department. “Everything should receive approval from the ARC by December to get the design and construction process moving.”
According to Hulsey, the county transportation department has been working on this Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) proposal since March and submitted the projects in May.
“Our intent is to have all projects under way sometime around August or September 2014,” Hulsey said.
Federal funding will pay the lion’s share for the submitted projects, along with county funds, which are currently being addressed as the county prepares next year’s budget.
“All of this is very good news for Douglas County,” said Hulsey, “as we received preliminary funding on five of the six projects we submitted.”
The project’s total financial commitment is just over $5.1 million. The federal outlay makes up the lion’s share of the cost at $4.1 million, whereas Douglas County assumes just over $1 million.
“Douglas County is getting an 80 percent return on funds we spend to deal with the transportation issues in the county,” said Hulsey. “This is a direct effort through the state and the ARC to try and do more with the money we have.”
He stated that his department was very careful to develop and submit projects that met ARC criteria, which included not having to get environmental studies done and no right-of-way acquisitions.
“It was the intent to do projects that could be implemented quickly.”
The projects include:
- Roadway improvements on Bill Arp Road from Bright Star Connector to Central Church Road.
- Interchange alternative analysis of I-20 and Bill Arp Road and Bright Star Road. The ARC project report stated that Bill Arp Road is considered Douglas County’s most congested commercial corridor for access to and from I-20.
- Truck navigation and safety improvements on Thornton Road from I-20 in Douglas County to Garrett Road in Cobb County.
- Roadway improvements on Maxham Road from Thornton Road to Tree Terrace Parkway in Douglas County. Maxham Road provides a direct link into Cobb County, which becomes Austell Road at its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 78.
- Traffic management system expansion on Fairburn Road, U.S. Hwy. 78 (Bankhead Highway/Broad Street) and Chapel Hill Road.
The project includes the installation of fiber optic communication, closed circuit TV cameras and intelligent transportation devices to a traffic control center, the report said.