Opponents target W. Fayetteville bypass

Tue, 11/18/2008 - 5:13pm
By: John Munford

Commission proceeds with bid award on phase 1 storm drain

A dozen residents voiced their displeasure with the path of the West Fayetteville bypass at Thursday night’s meeting of the Fayette County Commission.

But shortly after they left, the commission authorized a portion of the project to proceed as planned: installation of the stormwater pipe that will start next month and cost $246,044. That contract is limited to the first phase of construction only.

The two-lane bypass is designed to route traffic around Fayetteville, starting at Ga. Highway 85 and Harp Road, extending to Lester Road and following part of Sandy Creek Road before reconnecting with Ga. Highway 92 at West Bridge Road.

Several of the bypass opponents said they felt there was no justification for the road, particularly in terms of traffic studies and other documentation.

Steve Smithfield, who lives on Lees Mill Road, said he felt homeowners would battle the bypass location by forcing condemnation proceedings instead of voluntarily agreeing to sell the necessary land. Smithfield read aloud comments recorded at an informational meeting about the bypass.

One commenter said the bypass would connect Fayette with “high crime areas in south Fulton and Clayton” counties.

Another said: “It will also encourage neighboring Riverdale and College Park residents to move to Fayette County.”

Still another: “The bypass will spur high density housing that Fayette residents don’t want,” Smithfield said.

Resident Dave Williams, who also lives on Lees Mill Road, had a different alternative to the bypass which he said was much cheaper. If Fayette residents are having trouble figuring out how to get to work, he said the county should take his tax payment “and buy them a map.”

“We’ve got ways to get to 85 and we’ve got ways to get to Highway 138. We don’t need to go cutting through beside the railroad there, Line Creek, we don’t need to be going that way.”

Ellen Morley said the center line stakes for the road show the bypass as going right through her front yard. One of her concerns was that homeowners were not approached about the project.

“I just find that very disrespectful that we weren’t notified, we had to hear it from somebody else who heard it from somebody else,” she said.

Others were concerned about the environmental impact, and local environmentalist Dennis Chase said he was working on an environmental study for the second phase of the bypass.

Chase said he was stunned the county had not yet conducted an environmental impact study on the proposed bypass route, adding that he felt the county is “not using our SPLOST money appropriately.”

The commission listened to the complaints but made no responses while the citizens were there.

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Submitted by boxwing on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 10:03am.

Did these folks miss the fact that the transportation SPLOST in 2004, voted on and approved by the public, authorized the Fayette Bypass? Leading up to to that vote was a year of discussions and public hearings about the URS Transportation Study and the various proposed projects. In my area we organized a group of citizens, got a copy of the transportation study, and did a detailed review. Then we went before the commission during one of the public hearings and got a road project we didn't want deleted from the SPLOST plan BEFORE THE ELECTION.

None of this was done in secret; all anyone had to do was to participate in the process. It is unfortunate that those folks near the bypass route didn't pay attention when the transportation SPLOST was up for approval and then take the opportunity to fight it. Now the plans have been voted on and approved by the citizens of the county so no wonder the Commisioners are getting a little tired of dealing with folks that just woke up and noticed!

The lesson is to pay attention and particpate in the process of government! Read the paper, go to the meetings, ask questions, and generally be involved. If you don't then we get what we have here; people that get surprised when they see the bulldozers coming through almost 5 years after the plan was approved.

Submitted by boo boo on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 1:57am.

If these Commissioners can't deal with the public then they have no business being a Commissioner. They work for us, not the other way around, they need to remember that. Enough said!

Submitted by boo boo on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 11:24pm.

The County should have sent everyone of the Citizens that lived along, near or even close to where this bypass was going to go, a letter, notifying them of a possiblity that this road might have some affect on their properties and them. Also if meetings were held on these bypasses, then notices(letters) of the dates and times of the meetings should have also been sent to those being affected? From reading some of these blogs it sounds like this bypass was a complete surprise to some people directly affected. Not everyone gets or reads the local papers. I know I do not get the Citizen or any other paper. Getting on the local Fayette Gov web site is a place to look. Also I have read the minutes of meeting online, such as they are now. I remember hearing of the need for these bypasses years ago but were like on a wish list, that is until the Splost was passed. Then whamo it seemed they had the bulldozers out. I looked on the County web site at a map I remember and noticed where it was going and wondered how those affected would like this going thru their neighborhoods. I thought it was odd we never heard too much about it.

I found the following on the bypasses AND other road projects from a past Citizen paper DATED OCTOBER 5, 2006. FROM THE "ARC" WRITTEN BY BEN NELMS. There could be more articles this was the first one I found.

ARC unveils transportation plans
Thu, 10/05/2006 - 3:11pmBy: Ben Nelms
It was a glimpse into the future of regional transportation Oct. 3 as Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) hosted the Envision 6 Transportation Fair at Shannon Mall. For those weary of mounting traffic congestion in Fayette and Coweta counties, there is little end in sight since most of the solutions are years away.

Plans were divided into projects expected to be completed during the next five to six years and those considered long range, with completion dates anticipated between 2011-2030. Plans are susceptible to factors such as funding and adjustments by Georgia Dept. of Transportation.

Major projects for Fayette for the near term include four-laning of Ga. Highway 74 from south of Crosstown Drive to Ga. Highway 85 with a completion date expected in 2009. The first segment of the $31.5 million East Fayetteville Bypass from South Jeff Davis to Ga. Highway 54 is expected to be open in 2012. Opening an anticipated three years later will be the $56 million remainder of the east bypass, extending from Hwy. 54 north to Ga. Highway 85. Also on the ARC’s books for completion in 2008 is the $4.1 million TDK Boulevard Extension

Out into the future is to expand to four lanes of Hwy. 85 from Hwy. 74 to Hwy. 92, scheduled to be completed in two phases in 2020, the West Fayetteville Bypass from Sandy Creek Road to the intersection of Redwine Road and Harp Road, the four-laning of Crosstown Drive from Hwy. 74 to Peachtree Parkway in 2020 and the new Sandy Creek Road Extension from Hwy. 74 to Palmetto road.

Much further into the future for Fayette near 2030 are projects turning Ga. Highway 92 into four lanes from McBride Road to the intersection of Hwy. 92 and Jimmy Mayfield Drive, the four-laning of Collinsworth Road from I-85 to the Town of Tyrone in 2030.

A number of bridge upgrades are slated for Fayette in coming years. Those include the Hwy. 74 bridge at Flat Creek, the Hwy. 85 bridge at Whitewater Creek anticipated to be complete in 2010, the Coastline Road bridge at Whitewater Creek in 2010, the Inman Road bridge at Gay Creek in 2008 and the McIntosh Road bridge at the Flint River at the Spalding County line.

Roadway projects in Coweta County show a mix of anticipated completion dates, with many coming during the long range between 2010-2030.

In the short term, plans for the Ga. Highway 34 Bypass show the installation of four lanes in the $14.7 million project coming in three phases with an expected completion date of 2009. A new 1.6-mile stretch will be constructed from U.S. 29/27 Alt to Turkey Creek Road. Another near-term project, the $6 million upgrade along the 9.8-mile stretch of Lower Fayetteville Road from Greison Trail to Fisher Road is expected to be complete in 2007. Also in the near-term, Ga. Highway 16 will be widened to four lanes from I-85 to U.S. 29 by 2009 at a cost of $1.3 million.

Long term projects include construction of the two-lane Amlajack Boulevard Extension, to be completed in 2016. The one-mile road is forecast to extend from Shenandoah Industrial park to a proposed I-85 interchange. The McIntosh Trail project is expected to be completed in 2020, providing four lanes along a 3.88 mile stretch from Hwy. 54 to TDK Boulevard Extension. Also up for four lanes is Collinsworth Road from Weldon Road to Palmetto city limits. The .96-mile project is expected in 2030. Another new project planned for completion in 2030 is the East Washington Street Extension, a two-mile roadway running from Farmer Street to the Newnan Crossing Bypass. Rounding out the list in 2025 is the 7.3-mile expansion of I-85 to six lanes from U.S. 29 to Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway.

Bridge upgrades in Coweta will include the Hwy. 74/85 bridge between Hwy. 16 and Seavy Street expected to be completed in 2010, the Hwy. 74/85 bridge at the CSX line between Old Hwy. 85 and Hardy Road in 2008, the Hwy. 54 bridge at Shoal Creek in 2012, the Hwy. 54 bridge at Line Creek in 2009, the U.S. Highway 27 Alternate at the Chattahoochee River in 2008, the Green Top Toad bridge at CSX railroad in 2015 and the Cannon Road bridge at White Oak Creek in 2015.

d the following dated October 05, 2006

Submitted by Okie on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 10:13am.

Thanks for the article. I read it and for the life of me, I don't see anything about my part of the ByPass. Tillman to Hwy 92. We don't get the newspaper either. We got our letter August 29, 2008. It was to inform the community of this project and the potential impacts to property. They put up survey stakes around the time of the meeting or after. The meeting was Sept 16, 2008. I guess we will get to see how government works when we get to the property condemnation process. Oh yeah, as to the bad-ptc comments, we don't own a barcalounger. I read most comments on here, including all the whining and complaining. I'm gonna complain occasionally about our taxes and the bypass, so, if you don't want to hear it, don't read it, and that's all I've got to say.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 11:49pm.

People need to get off their butts and get involved in the goings on of their community.

It appears that people are only interested in govt. when they are directly effected after the fact or they want something for free.

PTC has had this 'apathy syndrome' for many years.

Notices of upcoming city/county topics are printed in the local media as well as on the respective WEB sites well in advance as the law requires it to be.

I'm getting tired of people Bi#$%ing because they didn't know about a public hearing only because they didn't take the time to look it up.

It's not the governments job to walk up and slap someone to see if they're well informed, it's your responsibility, as a citizen, to make yourself informed.

I don't have an opinion one way or the other about the bypass but those that didn't pay attention about issues that would/could effect their property have no room to complain.

People need to get up off their 'bark-o-loungers' and get involved in their community.

If they don't get involved then they can't complain.

If you're not part of the process then you're part of the problem!

Submitted by boo boo on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 1:35am.

I know Bad what you are saying too. For years and years friends and I went to the Planning, Commission, City Council,PTC and Fayetteville,(even though we didn't live in either)school board meetings etc. Sometimes every night of the week, we had a meeting. I sure learned about how local government works. Before those meetings I didn't have a clue really.
Helpful things you learn from going to local County Meetings.

1.I found the most important thing out about going to the meetings are, you know who to vote for or against after watching those elected in action. 2. When you see a government sign(Notice of,rezoning,etc.)usually white) up where there was none before, you start asking questions. 3. Be the town crier, and I mean loud and clear. 4. Let all your neighbors know what you found out about that sign and what it means because by yourself you won't be heard. 4. For some in power positions, for some reason after they get elected, they do not want the public to know what is going on. They forget who they are working for, I call them self serving...., well, not a nice name!
Over the years only few of those elected have really cared about this county and its people. I have to say I voted for none of these County Commissioners we have now.

I understand people are so busy and it is so hard to go to all of these meetings. If we had computers like we have now days it would have been so much easier for us. The County Gov. has a web site but I don't believe the minutes are as detailed as they use to be. Nothing works like seeing these elected people in action. So if at all possible go to some meetings during the month. Some are BORING, some are fun or use to be, some will make you darn angry but at least you will get to know those you elected and how our local Governments works. I have to say I'm guilty now of not going for the last few years because I just don't do much night driving anymore but that sure doesn't mean I don't know what is going on around me and the County. I actually got a call from a neighbor this week asking me why the surveyor's were on a neighbors property. Yep I knew, why...maybe they use to call it being nosey, I just call it being informed.

I looked up the maps for those bypasses and saw that they didn't effect me directly but I was sure they would effect bunches of people and yes I thought it odd that people weren't up in arms about these new roads. I would like to know who was sent letters? Was it just the people that had their property directly on bypass right of ways and had to be paid for their property? It would be interesting to know who WAS notified, with letters. Everyone needs to always talk to their neighbors, get their e-mail addresses...you only win when you are in large #'s. I believe a blogger said they got together and did stop some of this bypass in their area. This sounds like a done deal..but hey with the economy who knows. Everything could come to a complete stop. I sure would rather see cows than a parking lot full of gas guzzlers on that pasture land.

Submitted by Okie on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 3:47pm.

Well, I guess there's a lot of people who are getting surprised. We bought our land and built a house over 14 years ago, and knew nothing about a Bypass coming through. I read about it in The Citizen.com. I just sent an e-mail to the Commission Chairman to voice my opposition. They've already heard it once on paper, but I sent an e-mail anyway. I don't care if they do get tired of hearing about it! We went to their informal meeting, nobody could really tell you much. They just had a plat of the proposed route. When we pointed out where our house was, a person who was a commissioner (I guess) said, "Don't you wish you had built your house farther back!" Excuse me!

Submitted by boo boo on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 1:45am.

If that was a commissioner who said "Don't you wish you had built your house farther back", you need to fire his butt next time he comes up for re election...what a tacky thing to say...he has no business being in a position of power.

Submitted by Arf on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 4:19pm.

This project really needs to be looked into. There has been very little publicity about the bypass and no justification or explanation from anyone in government about what, why and where it is planned.

From looking at what has been proposed, the location makes no sense at all. There must be something that I am missing, but no one has come forth with any kind of explanation or reasons for the bypass.

Homes and businesses now located in the bypass area are being negatively affected, but no one on our County Commission seems to have a sympathetic ear at all.

So what is going on? Is this the kind of county commissioners that we have chosen to do what is best for this county? Are they elected to just shove things down everyone's throat with no accountability? Sounds just like the PTC Council and the FCBOE. Oh, and Tyrone government.

Can anyone tell me what is going on other than we have elected a bunch of self-serving tyrants? The world's gone mad.

zoes's picture
Submitted by zoes on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 9:41pm.

I am watching this closely for a clue as to how to stop the South Bypass before it gets this far. There is a very bad smell in the air. Smells like developers........... eeewwwwwwwwww


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