State demands TDK bridge be 4 lanes

Tue, 01/16/2007 - 4:10pm
By: John Munford

Last week, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority upheld its ruling that the bridge over Line Creek for the TDK Boulevard Extension should be wide enough for four lanes instead of two.

In denying Peachtree City’s appeal, the GRTA decision has opened up another can of worms in the long-delayed project: How much will the four-lane bridge add to the project cost, which is coming from the county’s transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

The city only has acquired enough land to make the road two lanes wide, and City Council members have been vocal about not expanding it to four lanes.

So far the city has paid about $500,000 towards the project including design work, and Mayor Harold Logsdon said the city will not pay any more. Although local governments are allowed to overrule GRTA decisions for projects in their jurisdiction, Peachtree City cannot do that because the requirement stems from the 3,000-home McIntosh Village project planned for Coweta County.

The city still has to do some more design work and must confirm that the county owns the remaining land necessary for the road approach to the bridge, said City Attorney Ted Meeker. Once the design and right-of-way acquisition are complete, the project can be turned over to Fayette County, which has agreed to build the bridge and part of the road.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking as a contract for the road’s right-of-way requires the road to be completed by October 2009 or the property will revert to Pathway Communities. The bridge alone will take about two years to complete once construction begins, according to estimates.

The City Council has contended that the TDK Extension, at least on Peachtree City’s side, will be two lanes instead of four. At last week’s GRTA meeting, it became clear that TDK will be the main access point for residents of McIntosh Village, which lies entirely within neighboring Coweta County.

Coweta Commissioner Paul Poole noted that Ga. Highway 154, the other state highway bordering McIntosh Village, is already backed up in the mornings with commuters. Hwy. 154 is also only two lanes at present, with no future state funding identified to widen it to four lanes.

Coweta County opposed Peachtree City’s appeal on the bridge width, and Poole noted that the city never came to Coweta to discuss its growth. He said much of Peachtree City shouldn’t have been built until Ga. Highway 54 was expanded to four lanes.

Logsdon said GRTA should allocate funds to improve the Ga. Highway 74 interchange with Interstate 85, a thought echoed by Fayette County Commission Chairman Jack Smith. County Attorney Bill McNally urged GRTA to create another interchange on I-85 for Fayette County, perhaps where it crosses Ga. Highway 92.

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Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Sat, 01/20/2007 - 7:26am.

Looks like those who responded to my question about what should the City do about TDK agree that doing nothing, which should kill or delay the bridge and have the right of way ownership revert to Pathways is the way to go.

That part was easy - now it gets much harder.

So, how do we convince City Council that the money they spent on design and engineering and land acquisition (no doubt close to $1,000,000) can be written off and future funding from the State may be at risk as well. Not being argumentative here, but any responsible City Council should weigh the benefits of their decision vs. the cost. And it is pretty easy to see how City Council can hide behind the fact that a lot of money has already been spent and the project has too much momentum to stop.

With that in mind, what rationale can we give them to make the decision to kill the road and justify the loss of the money that has already been spent? And this has to be serious. All this discussion about the previous administration's shortcomings and Brown's "I told you so" and politicians bribing developers (maybe it is the other way around) and so on - doesn't help the current City Council stop the road. Give them some talking points.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 01/20/2007 - 12:42pm.

Your argument means nothing! A bad investment can't be made back with another bad investment. Wish it could.
It would take a lowly type council to go ahead with TDK the only reason being that some money has already been invested.
We all know it is going to be built due to developer wishes: it is just a matter of 2 versus 4 lanes.
If council doesn't have the guts to call it then they need to resign.

tortugaocho's picture
Submitted by tortugaocho on Sat, 01/20/2007 - 7:15pm.

I have no doubts that whatever it costs, Logsdon will say keep shoveling the coal into the train and "Git er done" for the developers. Look at the article-- Logsdon is all about " Just keep funding. Think about engineering and traffic studies some other time." Look for Logsdon to say that PTC needs to dump another half million in to build the bridge because "It's the right thing to do."

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Sat, 01/20/2007 - 8:59am.

I agree, there has been a good bit of money spent over the years on this. Folks on here went nuts when we (the City) paid off the Tennis Center and we (the City) actually have a tennis center to show for it. In this case, we won't have anything, and the same folks complaining now, will continue complaining if we walk away. It's a No Win situation.

I still don't understand GRTA being so worried about this project being 4 laned, and saying NOTHING about 74/I-85 interchange, or not saying 154 should be widened in Coweta. Makes NO sense to me.

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 2:01pm.

"The City Council has contended that the TDK Extension, at least on Peachtree City’s side, will be two lanes instead of four. At last week’s GRTA meeting, it became clear that TDK will be the main access point for residents of McIntosh Village, which lies entirely within neighboring Coweta County."

Two out of three doctors recommend not cutting your head off in order to give you a healthy and long life. Here we have Harold Logsdon cutting our head off by helping Coweta County create a colossal traffic monster with TDK and he’s tell GRTA fix the I-85 interchange. Harold the traffic from TDK is going to cause us all to have to leave at 4:45 AM just to make it to work by 8:00 AM.

It’s obvious to all literate humans that TDK is the doorway to disaster. KILL THE ROAD! Commissioner Poole said it best: they don’t give a crap about Peachtree City.

Vote Republican

Submitted by John M on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 9:11am.

Laurence Peter said it best - "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

We have such a huge leadership deficit in Peachtree City that our neighbors in Coweta County are now brave enough to start trash talking to us. Harold Logsdon clearly has no practical leadership skills and we are paying dearly for his stupid blunders.

His statements throughout the TDK debacle have been misleading, he is always at odds with other governments and his promises always seem to fall short.

The TDK extension needs to be terminated before we wind up with another scandal on our hands and the city loses its appeal.

Submitted by Dondol on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 10:26am.

When are we going to wake up and take back our Fair City. The Logsdon/Boone (the mayors pet Yorkie) black hole is sucking the life out of what was once the Finest place to live in the state of Georgia. We as residents need to group together and stand up to these clowns and STOP THIS NOW! As for TDK, I for one am tired of the powers to be in the ATL (grta) telling us what we can and cannot do. You know people, we are the highest per capita income county in the state and if we get out and VOTE we can do what we want to. Everyone needs to come together (Just like the Developers do) as one block and then we will have some CLOUT! People quite letting the Clown Prince and GRTA tell us what to do and lets do what the Good People of PTC want! GET OUT AND VOTE!

Submitted by thebiggun on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 6:00pm.

Wow man you have these two jokers (Logsdon and Boone) pick out for just what they are except, liars and totally in this government game for themselves. Just wait and see all the eye opening stuff that will be coming out about these two. It will be a block buster and then you will see what they really are. And just think they are planning to run two more just like them against the two Council members they don't control in the next election, so they can really go to town. It is like a clown car on it's way to hell with that City Manager they retain behind the wheel. Just like the old days on the base. Recall them NOW.

secret squirrel's picture
Submitted by secret squirrel on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 7:17am.

The one thing people seem to be overlooking is the right-of-way timeline requirement in this project. The contract requires completion by October 2009. It's January 2007. Does anyone actually believe this project could be completed by 10/2009 even if they started today, much less in the likely time of the next few months?? This is a government operation and one requiring the input of and participation by several different actors including no less than four governmental agents. 30 months, give or take, seems like a ridiculously short timeframe to actually see this project "completed," as the contract requires.

Nonetheless, PTC will end up on the short-end of this repellingly odoriferous stick. We, as PTC residents, can only hope our elected officials stick by their guns and refuse to submit to Coweta's and the State's efforts to subjugate us to their whims.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 6:18am.

Not many choices, but here they are
#1. Go get more land from Pathways, redesign the bridge and road for 4 lanes and build it. Cost $2,000,000 more. Benefit we please GRTA and still get state money - and we make Coweta happy.
#2. Build it with 2 lanes. No additional cost, but GRTA gives us a black mark in their little book and we lose state funding for future road projects.
#3. Do nothing. Cost is a wasted chunk of money on design fees and land acquisition, but it stalls everything and possibly forces the private developers to fund the bridge - or perhaps they scrap the bridge and improve the roads in Coweta County for a Coweta development that contains Coweta people.

#3 is looking pretty good to me.

DragNet's picture
Submitted by DragNet on Sat, 01/20/2007 - 7:30pm.

East Cowetans already use Hwy 74 to commute to Atlanta, McIntosh villagers will do the same. So here's #4:

Make 74 a freeway (I-385) all the way from PTC to I-85, and provide additional transit options to commuters, such as:

- a commuter or GRTA bus service from PTC to the MARTA airport station
- light rail from Senoia to Atlanta, with a stop in PTC

These measures should be in place in a 5-10 years timeframe to be effective, otherwise we will bwcomw another Gwinnet county, thousands of cars backed up every morning and evening in our limited, undercapacity highway system. Think!

Making you think twice......

Submitted by myword_mark on Sat, 01/20/2007 - 7:32pm.

... read it and weap SaveOurCity,!

Submitted by SandySue on Thu, 01/18/2007 - 9:14am.

RWM I agree with you on this one. They (GRTA and Coweta) are trying to move our focus to 2 lanes for TDK instead of 4 lanes. So we will feel good if we get them to agree to 2 lanes. Ha... that is a joke. We do not want the road at all. Folks do not let all the rhetoric refocus you to think we are getting our way if we only 2 lane the road. Stay to our original position - no road. Just repeat after me NO TDK, NO TDK, NO TDK. Just say NO!

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 11:02am.

It will make the intersection of 54/74 worse, but it may prompt Coweta to do something about access other than relying on Hwy 74 north to I-85.

I also read a good point elsewhere, why is GRTA so concerned with this bridge, yet they continue to let 74/I-85 grow without any input on road improvements etc. Or is Fairburn just not listening to anybody?

My gut tells me to build it 2 lanes, but then if that is done, it won't be long before it is 4 laned in the future. Best to close up this can of worms now.

I would encourage all to send their opinions to the PTC and Council. Some of them even respond to e-mails, mainly the Mayor. The others, I sometimes wonder if they even check them. Never the less, let your voice be heard.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:01am.

Even if the road goes through, granpa Murray and the kids can put up speed traps everwhere on our side, and some redlight cameras too.

That should be a fairly effective "you are not welcome here mat".

We will make money off of the perpetually late for work people.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 7:11am.

Yep, that's right - our very own Jack Bauer - send him in or at least get his opinion. What Would Brown Do? My guess is none of the above, but we will wait to hear from him or sandy sue or spear guy.

Actually, this is a serious question for everybody - what would you do if you were faced with this situation? I think you have to comply with GRTA otherwise you are depriving our citizens of future services and improvements funded by the state. Expensive, but what other decision if the elected officials take their oath of office seriously - they did take an oath this time around didn't they?

CCB's picture
Submitted by CCB on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 9:36am.

Mudcat is the most irritating blogger on this web site. It’s pretty boring watching him fantasizing about Steve Brown all the time. Give it a break. Say something useful or funny or both.

As for TDK, just like I feared, the city is no longer in the driver's seat. The city should let the project drop and force the other's hands. This deal has gotten very ugly very fast.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:41pm.

It is not like those in that business haven't known from the beginning that a road and bridge would be built into Coweta County, have you ever seen a new city that people didn't build a road into?
Many games have to be played however as honesty with the great unwashed masses won't work.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:16am.

I guess, it has to be five o'clock somewhere.

Hmmmm politician? oath of office? taken seriously?? Have you ever thought of giving up your day job, and getting your own show?

LOL, you are actually a great comedian.

Submitted by myword_mark on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 9:20am.

This is the funniest post I have ever seen from you. Thanks- I needed that!

ptcgv's picture
Submitted by ptcgv on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:25pm.

At first I thought we were going to have to call Cal, John Munford, and Git Real.

But the (sic) minkey is cute. Do you have to keep him under a colander or does he become an ear mite or something?

Enigma's picture
Submitted by Enigma on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:36pm.

That is a thumb the little fella is holding on to!

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:03pm.

skyspy and mark have encouraged me. If you don't like what happens next - contact them.

Comedy is why I am here. When you all get so serious and uptight, I will jump in and put a spotlight on what I see as a comedic target.

I really think we need to be able to laugh at ourselves especially when we go over the top on issues that are either not that important or out of our control. I won't jump into religion, but politics and development is where I will focus my efforts.

Needless to say, I have strayed from my original purpose and I will become more focused in the future. Think of it as a new year's resolution.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Tue, 01/16/2007 - 8:00pm.

I knew that would make you look!

"Poole noted that the city never came to Coweta to discuss its growth. He said much of Peachtree City should’t have been built until Ga. Highway 54 was expanded to four lanes."

I had stated in earlier post that it wouldn't have hurt for Coweta County and PTC/Fayette County to have worked together on some projects but I get a different message from reading Mr. Pool's comment in this context.

I would be interested to know if Coweta County has any traffic numbers for the amount of vehicles that travel from Fayette County into Coweta County on a daily basis.

The only time I've seen the traffic on 54 West back up is during the evening rush hour. The morning rush hour is usually backed up coming from the Coweta side.

If Coweta has any hard numbers of the number of commuters that use Hwy. 74, maybe they could share that information with the Fayette County administration.

And yes, I do understand that I'm discussing "STATE" not county roads.

Maybe the two counties could fund a study to see exactly where the traffic on 74 north is coming from in the mornings and 74 south in the evenings. Then we'll have some REAL numbers to discuss and perhaps show GRTA exactly which counties need the road improvements.

Since Coweta currently holds the national record for longest commute of any county, I would think that would be a good place to start.

It's to bad that Coweta County doesn't have as many vocal ex-politicians wanting to build north/south roads as Fayette County has that want to build east/west roads.

Submitted by bowser on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:00am.

Paul Poole must think we're stupid. Ga. 54 was a state project, and without going back and researching it I think I'm pretty safe in saying Coweta supported the 4-laning from the get-go. And as others have pointed out, more cars use it to get from east Coweta to 74 than vica versa.

Speaking of Ga. 74, Mayor Logsdon is belatedly correct in pointing out the hypocrisy (or just plain stupidity) of GRTA's role in all this. It has the time and energy to dictate terms of a little bridge for a single development, yet it apparently has nothing to say or contribute on the growing nightmare that is the Ga.74/I-85 mess. Last I heard Fairburn has signed off on a huge strip shopping center just south of the exit. Under TDK logic, GRTA should require that Fairburn build an alternative access to I-85. Either that or pay to 8-lane 74 and build a spaghetti junction interchange, because that's what it's going to take to keep the nasty stew of commuters, cement trucks and oil tankers moving through there all day...

Submitted by bladderq on Tue, 01/16/2007 - 9:49pm.

"Poole noted that the city never came to Coweta to discuss its growth. He said much of Peachtree City should’t have been built until Ga. Highway 54 was expanded to four lanes."

This guy, my guess, is some Yankee carpetbagger that is clueless on the history. He doesn't really matter. They need to figure out water and sewer on their side of the Creek. I promise you, they TOO have problems.

You are right in your traffic count and I will provide figures for 1/100th of what any traffic study co. bids. And be more accurate.

Back to Rail...Ever been to Chicago? METRA is a heavy rail system. The old Ford plant fed 2 lines South...1 thru Clayton down to Hampton and beyond. The other thru PTC / Senoia. A lot of that traffic is going away. You have nothing Fear from Rail and Mass transit but Fear Itself. It'll be OK, really. It'll be OK, "THEY" won't come down here on the train and take you 50" plas back on the train (w/ transfer). It'll be OK.

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 01/16/2007 - 7:17pm.

Let's keep our 500. large, and let the state and the developer foot the bill. Our taxes are going to be raised enough because of the tennis center farce.

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