Granade Road.jpg

Vehicles sit on Granade Road at Ga. Highway 138 near Heritage High School. Rockdale County is working on a project to add sidewalks and a multi-use trail on Granade Road. They had hoped to construct them this summer, but were unable to, and will wait till next summer to not interfere with school activities.

CONYERS — Construction and completion dates for several local road projects were provided during the Rockdale County Transportation Summit, held Sept. 11 at Cherokee Run Golf Club in Conyers.

This is the second summit hosted by Rockdale County and brought together representatives from city, county, state and federal transportation agencies.

Brian Allen, director of the Rockdale County Transportation Department, opened the meeting with an update on local road projects, including the Klondike/Hurst/McDaniel Mill intersection improvement and roundabout, the Sigman Road Phase II widening and multi-use trail, the Courtesy Parkway Extension non-access bridge over Interstate 20, and the Granade Road sidewalk/multi-use trail.

“We have several federal aid projects that are under notices to proceed,” said Allen. “They are in purchasing now and some are out for bid and some will be soon. We’re hoping to get everything done in those projects and put them on the ground. I think we’re here to celebrate them.

“A lot of times people say, ‘Well, I don’t see you moving a lot of dirt.’ Those of you in this room know it takes a while to get to the dirt-moving stage. But hopefully you’re about to see some dirt moving on some of these projects.”

High Mast Lighting

Allen’s first update was on the high mast lighting project on I-20 at the Salem Road and Sigman Road interchanges.

“We’ve had this in the works for several years,” he said. “That is out now for bid. We’re looking to get that started hopefully in the fall. That is a $3 million project altogether, with funding through federal aid and some local assistance, too, through SPLOST. That is is what makes these projects possible — our ability to match the funds through SPLOST. We hope you’ll see those lighted interchanges very soon.”

Construction is set to begin this fall, with up to 18 months to complete construction.

Klondike/Hurst/McDaniel Mill Roundabout

“This has been in the works for a number of years,” said Allen. “We have completed all of the right of way and utility. It has been submitted to purchasing to put out for bid. We’re hoping that project will be let very soon. That project altogether is about $4 million with some federal aid. We appreciate all the assistance we receive from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Atlanta Regional Commission in funding.”

Sigman Road Phase II

The Sigman Road widening project began almost 20 years ago. It is being done in four phases. Phase I was completed in the 1990s and widened the road from the Sigman Road/I-20 interchange, exit 78, to Lester Road.

Phase II of the project will widen Sigman from just east of Lester Road to Irwin Bridge Road. An added feature that Phase I did not have is a 10-foot-wide multi-use paved trail that will run along the north side of Sigman Road. A 5-foot-wide paved sidewalk is planned for the south side.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020 and take up to two years to complete. Total project cost is $17.56 million.

Courtesy Parkway Bridge

“If there is one project that is on our minds more than others, it is probably this one, the Courtesy Parkway non-access bridge over I-20,” said Allen. “It is projected to cross I-20 at Courtesy Parkway on the north side and near Springfield Baptist Church on the south side, and will connect Flat Shoals Road and Old Covington Highway.

“Most of our population lives on the south side of I-20, and most of our business and industrial and work force works on the north side,” he said. “This will provide us great access across I-20 that doesn’t impact the interchange with I-20 because it is a non-access bridge, similar to the Parker Road bridge, which a lot of us use to get across I-20. This is our No. 1 project.

“This is a big project. We’re talking about a $20 to $25 million price. We’ve already got the engineering phase funded. There is a lot of right of way. We’ve already got $6.5 million funded in fiscal year 2020. The goal on that one is to be in right of way acquisition for this project by next summer. There are some pretty big chunks of right of way that have to be purchased, including a building on the Springfield Baptist Church property.”

Allen said the county hopes to begin right of way acquisition in the spring of 2020, and have the new bridge built and open by the time GDOT starts reworking the Ga. Highway 138/I-20 bridge into the divergent diamond traffic pattern in 2022.

Granade Road Sidewalk/Multi-Use Trail

“That is where Heritage High School is,” said Allen, “off of Highway 138. There has been a need for a trail and sidewalks in that area for years and years. We’ve been working on this project with our Stormwater Department and also our Recreation and Maintenance Department to get this project done.

“We were hoping to get part of it done this summer when school was out, but had conflicts, so we’ll wait to next summer,” he said. “This is not a project you want underway while school is going on, so we’ll be sensitive to the needs of the high school and the other schools out there.”

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.