East Fayette Bypass project to be killed?

Tue, 01/27/2009 - 5:14pm
By: John Munford

The east Fayetteville bypass project may fall by the wayside as $7 million in state funding projected for the effort has come into question.

The Fayette County Commission last week discussed the possibility of abandoning the project, at least for now, and redirecting funds so other projects can be finished despite a downturn in sales tax receipts.

The bypass was planned, along with other transportation projects, to be largely funded with proceeds from a special 1 percent sales tax.

State transportation officials doubt the county’s $46.4 million projected cost is high enough, given the scope of the project, said County Public Works Director Phil Mallon.

The west Fayetteville bypass, however, has an estimated cost of $28 million including state and federal money, and design and construction is already underway, Mallon said.

Mallon suggested the county divert $5 million more in SPLOST funds to make sure the west bypass is built even if the state and federal funds don’t come through.

The west Fayetteville bypass would extend from Harp Road near Ga. Highway 85 South up to Ga. Highway 92 North at Westbridge Road. The east Fayetteville bypass would stretch from Jeff Davis Drive to Ga. Highway 54, ultimately extending north to link with Ga. Highway 85 north of the Fayette Pavilion.

Commission Chairman Jack Smith said he also worried whether the state would approve funding for the west bypass. The state’s issue is they don’t see enough congestion mitigation data to require funding, but the caveat is they only consider cars in Fayette County while this project will divert traffic coming from other counties, Smith said.

County Administrator Jack Krakeel said it’s possible the county could increase the scope of the west Fayetteville bypass to include a realignment of Westbridge Road where the bypass will terminate.

Commissioner Lee Hearn argued that the county should proceed with at least right of way acquisition on the east Fayetteville bypass on the theory that perhaps much of the work could be done by county crews to save money on the project. Because of the conditions of the area the land will not get cheaper as time goes on, Hearn added.

Approximately $550,000 has been spent so far on the east Fayetteville bypass, which includes environmental studies, design and other work, Mallon said.

“I do not intend to spend another dime on the east Fayetteville bypass,” said Commissioner Eric Maxwell. “... This is good money after bad that we could be spending on another project.”

Commissioner Herb Frady agreed.

“You might end up with two partial roads built instead of one,” Frady said. “I’d rather build the west bypass for sure instead of take a chance with one.”

Mallon said he would be getting updated cost information and other background data on both projects before the commission makes a final decision.

Other SPLOST projects are being recommended to be put on hold. The widening of Tyrone-Palmetto Road, for example, loses some of its value if Coweta County doesn’t agree to extend the widening from its county line to Interstate 85, Mallon noted.

“Right now they’re not saying no but they’re sure not saying it’s their highest priority now,” Mallon said.

Delaying that project will save an estimated $23 million that can be spent on other SPLOST projects, including five bridge improvement projects and seven intersection improvements in the unincorporated county, Mallon said.

Also eliminated is a project to extend Sandy Creek Road, as a new subdivision directly across the road on Ga. Highway 74 North basically precludes the project from occurring, Mallon indicated.

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mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 12:47pm.

Haven’t you guessed it?

Another SPLOST vote this coming November, of course. In its Jan. 31 issue, the Fayette County News tells us all about it, after an interview with county commission chairman Smith.

Why beat around the bush? You all knew it all along.

Submitted by mysteryman on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 7:54am.

Lets see this road project will rip and steal the heart out of the center of Fayette county.

It will destroy and rob us all of our quality of life, just so a few developers and county fiends, can get rich.

The commisioneers feel entitled to do with S.P.L.O.S.T as they please. so the answer is simple vote to get rid of this issue at the next election, and the county will have to do what the rest of us have to when we do not have any money..

The thugs and gangsters of A.T.L. im sure will be the big winners of this project as they cruise unchallenged on this new ROBBERY ROAD, to pillage and fleece our community that we have worked so hard to preserve all these years.

I guess shortly after the completion of this project, MARTA will roll into town, to deliver the proverbial nail in the coffin. For this is the only thing that has preserved Fayette county from becoming blighted like the rest of A.T.L.

But hey you voted for it folks reap what you sow.......S.P.L.O.S.T

Know what you are voting for next time, and if you do not at least have a high school education please do not vote, for thing you do not understand or comprehend....... PEACE...

Submitted by ginga1414 on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 11:48am.

Fayette County, please stop holding your citizens hostage. You need to realize that is exactly what you are doing. Some of the people along the West Fayetteville Bypass route have been sitting her for a good 20 years waiting for you to come along and destroy our land and lives. This whole mess started right after we finished building our home on Lee's Mill Rd. almost 25 years ago, and here we are twenty something years later still going through this torture. Will you or won't you? When or if? You are torturing your citizens.

As a representative of The West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition, I am begging you to please kill both the East and West Fayetteville Bypasses. We have all been tortured enough. However, if you decide to continue with the West Fayetteville Bypass, I can assure you The West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition will not go away. One member of our organization received a phone call from someone saying they had purchased property for development in Fayette County based on the West Fayetteville Bypass going through. This just proves the premise we've had all along, and that is that the West Fayetteville Bypass will do nothing but bring more houses and/or apartments, and traffic that the majority of Fayette County citizens neither need or want. Area wise, we are one of the smallest counties in the State. So why are we trying to overload the system with things we can't handle. According to what I learned at a public meeting held by the County, The Atlanta Regional Commission is endorsing it all. Do we want Atlanta telling Fayette County citizens how we have to live?

This is not the time to be wasting millions and millions of hard earned tax payers dollars on a project that is simply not needed. Readers should contact the State of Georgia if the County Commissioners continue to not listen to us.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 9:50pm.

It can be proven that the west bypass data was "cooked" just like the TDK Blvd. Extension data.

The west bypass could be the most expensive fraud ever unleashed on the citizens of Fayette County.

Submitted by turtlejack on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 12:05pm.

Agreed. The media had a field day during the McCain/Palin campaign regarding the Alaska "Bridge to Nowhere". Fayette County has the "Road to Nowhere" aka The West Fayetteville Bypass. Remember this fiasco at next county election!

aliquando's picture
Submitted by aliquando on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 1:03am.

If not us, then who?

Kill the West bypass also!! This is all one boondoggle!

Submitted by Okie on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 6:31pm.

How about scraping the West Bypass too! You would have lots of money to spend on projects that are needed. If the state doesn't see a congestion problem, then we must not really have one. If we did, we won't for long. With all the stores going out of business, there won't be a reason for any one to come here anyway.

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 7:12pm.

Would not want the Board of Education realty dept to be left holding the bag on a school thats in the middle of nowhere and not needed, not to mention all of the other land barons that would be left holding the bag...Way to go commisioneers....NYCE...

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