CONYERS — Dozens of residents turned out Thursday for an informational meeting on the Courtesy Parkway Extension Project.

Rockdale Department of Transportation representatives explained the project to residents and described how it is expected to improve traffic flow on the Ga. Highway 138 and Salem Road bridges and on Dogwood Drive and Iris Drive by diverting local surface street traffic away from those busy interchanges.

The project calls for a roadway connecting Old Covington Highway to Flat Shoals Road with a “flyover” bridge over I-20. The road design will involve the realignment of Courtesy Parkway. The project does not include an interchange with the interstate highway.

The project is expected to cost $24 million. Construction is estimated at 30 months, with completion set for October 2021.

Thursday’s public meeting was held at Springfield Baptist Church, which is one of the properties that will be affected by the project. The proposed roadway cuts across the rear of the church property and would displace one of the church’s secondary buildings. The road would intersect Flat Shoals Road across from the entrance to Mission Ridge subdivision, near Flat Shoals Elementary.

One resident of Mission Ridge said she was concerned about the traffic congestion that might result near her neighborhood and also about increased traffic so close to the elementary school.

RDOT is in the process of conducting a traffic study to determine the best plan for the intersection at Flat Shoals — whether that would involve a traffic signal, a stop sign or a roundabout.

Mission Ridge resident Kenny Edwards said he could see how the new I-20 overpass could be an improvement.

“It’s going to be a great thing for people to get to Walmart and that shopping center,” he said.

The Courtesy Parkway Extension Project has been on the books since the mid-’90s and has undergone a number of design changes. In 2011, the project was planned to connect Iris Drive to Old Covington Highway. According to that plan, the roadway would have connected with Old Covington Highway near where the Belk store was constructed on the north side of I-20. When the Belk shopping center was developed, county engineers began looking for a new location further east.

Residents who were unable to attend Thursday’s open house can go to the RDOT Office, 2570 Old Covington Highway SW, Conyers to view renderings and ask questions.

For more information, email Genetha Rice-Singleton at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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