Almost 100 people attended the open house-styled hearing at The Events Place in Hiram to see long-anticipated plans for adding two additional lanes to the congested road which runs north and south through eastern Paulding County, said Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman Mohamed Arafa.
Attendees had the option of commenting verbally to a court reporter or writing on a card. Detailed, color maps posted on standing display boards included the names of landowners directly affected by plans for the 5.7-mile project from Nebo Road to Ga. Hwy. 120.
One of those, Dr. David Carpenter of Hiram Animal Hospital, said he had been awaiting plans for the long-sought project since 2005.
“It’s been too long in coming, especially for a business owner,” he said.
He said he would be negotiating with GDOT on purchasing his land because the planned road runs through the middle of his business near the intersection with Dallas Street.
Carpenter said he also planned to urge engineers to add a traffic light at a nearby intersection to make it safer for motorists traveling to area businesses.
“I can’t tell you how many wrecks I’ve seen,” Carpenter said.
Another longtime business owner, Diane Dobbs, said plans call for the road to take much of the front part of her auto detailing business, Gotcha Looking Good, which has operated near the road’s intersection with Main Street since 1998.
She said she favored a change to a three-lane highway with a middle turn lane.
“I’m not against progress [but] I’ll have to use my next door neighbor’s driveway,” she said.
Russell Houser, a 20-year resident of the project’s northern leg, said he hoped planners would add additional breaks in the median on the less-developed segment between U.S. Hwy. 278 and Ga. Hwy. 120 to help ease access for residents.
However, he said he was glad progress was finally being made on widening the road. Traffic typically backs up about a quarter of a mile from the highway’s intersection with U.S. Hwy. 278 during weekday afternoon rush hours.
“It should have been done 20 years ago,” he said.
However, Arafa estimated "if things go as planned" the project will be put out for bids in early 2018 with completion in 2021.
GDOT is inviting public comment on Hwy. 92 plans from those who did not attend the meeting:
- On the web site www.dot.ga.gov in the Public Outreach section;
- By traditional mail through Monday, July 21, addressed to: Hilal Patel, State Environmental Administrator, Georgia Department of Transportation, 600 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, Ga. 30308.