Proposed project aims to alleviate new Wal-Mart congestion

By Justin Boron

The county commission could curtail much of the congestion that transportation officials anticipate will be generated by the incoming Wal-Mart on Lovejoy Road, if they decide to approve more than $500,000 for intersection improvement projects.

The commissioners will consider contracts for the project's engineering and construction at today's 9 a.m. meeting.

The county hopes to have the Lovejoy Road project completed before the store opens to avoid a potentially "undesirable traffic situation," said Andy Adams, the assistant director of transportation and development.

Wal-Mart expects the store to open sometime before 2005.

The move could impact many of the business owners and residents in the surrounding area, who are squeamish about Wal-Mart's opening.

Stan Barge of Barge Tire on Lovejoy Road said he was worried about the Wal-Mart's effect on his business, but thought there was little he could do at this point.

"It's going to be there, regardless of what we do," he said.

Lovejoy citizen Mike Crews shared a similarly defeatist attitude.

"I guess we all just ought to move further out into the country," he said.

The intersection slated for improvements would be the main access point for the new shopping center and already receives a heavy volume of traffic from the nearby Lovejoy High School, Adams said.

Nearby residents must wait for Tara Boulevard traffic to clear at stop sign.

"At 6 p.m., you can't get out of there," Crews said.

Funds for the project would come from the Special Local Option Sales Tax.

APAC of Tyrone has been recommended for construction services, which are estimated at $339,172.58.

Moreland Altobelli Associates of Norcross have been recommended for the engineering and inspection phases estimated at $168,720. The contract also includes engineering work on Richardson Parkway.