GDOT officials answered questions and took comments on the plans for the highway between Pine Drive in Douglas County and Nebo Road in Paulding during an informational open house at Baggett Elementary School Aug. 7.
The 9.27-mile project, estimated at $152 million — which has been on the shelf since 1998 — may begin construction after 2016 depending on available funding, said Mohamed Arafa, District 6 communications officer for GDOT.
Douglasville City Engineer Jeff Noles, who attended the meeting, said the moderate turnout included those primarily affected by Phase Four of the project in Paulding County.
“It was an opportunity to get feedback for design changes as we move from conceptual drawings to a complete set of drawings,” Noles said.
He said the purchase of right of way is ahead of schedule for its October 2013 deadline. Phase one, which involves construction of an underpass beneath the railroad tracks in Douglasville, could start as early as spring 2014, said Noles.
According to Arafa, the project is still in the preliminary stages, as environmental impact studies must be completed and some 390 right-of-way parcels must be acquired before construction can begin.
“We do not have the final plans yet,” he explained. “We are here to answer questions and get the public’s input. We believe this project will serve the people of Douglas and Paulding counties and the preferences of the public is important to our plans.”
The Hwy. 92 project will likely take two to three years to complete, he said, so the public should be able to use the widened road by 2020. It will include widening the highway from two lanes to four lanes, and up to six lanes — three lanes in each direction — and the construction of three grade-separated bridges to carry U.S. Hwy. 78/East Broad Street, the Norfolk Southern Railroad and East Strickland Street in Douglasville, Arafa explained.
The project falls within the State Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, which usually involves 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funding.
Large population growth, especially within Paulding County, has necessitated the road project, said Arafa, who pointed out that “traffic grows at a much faster rate than population.”
Updated information can be found at www.gahwy92.com.