The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, July 4, 2001

County Line/McDonough roads' traffic woes continue


Motorists fighting heavy congestion at the intersection of County Line and McDonough roads won't get relief anytime soon.

After failing to get all the help they needed from the state Department of Transportation, county officials are lobbying Washington for funds to improve the intersection.

The intersection is clogged partly because two roads dead end into McDonough Road County Line and McElroy within a short distance. The best solution, county public works director Lee Hearn told county commissioners, is to align McElroy and County Line so that there's only one intersection.

The project also includes cutting down the hill that motorists encounter on County Line Road, to improve sight distance.

Money is the only obstacle, and state DOT officials had promised to provide the needed funds last year, because McDonough Road is slated to become a state highway.

But when DOT Commissioner Wayne Shackelford retired and was replaced with Commissioner Tom Coleman, the funding was reduced to $200,000, not nearly enough.

Officials, including Hearn and County Commission Chairman Greg Dunn, met recently with Coleman and got funding for the project restored, but only $350,000 was earmarked. "We need $700,000," said Dunn in reporting the matter to commissioners.

"He basically said they're out of money," Dunn added.

The federal government has funding available for projects that address safety concerns, said Dunn, adding that in addition to the traffic bottleneck, the County Line/McDonough Road problem is unsafe.

Local officials will get in touch with federal officials and try to get as much money as possible, then determine how much money the county will have to come up with to get the project done.

"Quite frankly, we shouldn't have to do it at all," said Dunn.