By Maria-Jose Subiria
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) awarded 17 contracts valued at approximately $48 million for road improvements across Georgia, on Friday, according to a spokesperson for the department.
Mark McKinnon said those contracts include a $4.7 million transportation project, which will, among other things, widen, and realign, a mile-long stretch of Linecrest Road, between Bouldercrest and Ward Lake roads. Linecrest Road begins in Clayton County and runs through DeKalb County, ending in Henry County, the spokesman added.
In addition to the widening and realigning, a new bridge will be constructed on Linecrest Road over Conley Creek. "Traffic volumes in that area are high ... They [GDOT] felt the volumes in that area dictated that it needed that improvement," said McKinnon.
"Currently, there is no access provided over Conley Creek," he said. "East-west travel between Bouldercrest Road and Ward Lake Road currently carries traffic through residential areas. The completion of the proposed bridge would provide new access to Seminole Road Landfill ... thereby, reducing landfill traffic in residential areas."
McKinnon said the bridge will be 354 feet long and 49 feet wide, and will include a 12-foot-wide bicycle-and-pedestrian path, and a six-foot-wide sidewalk.
"The entire project will enhance safety, and will straighten the path of Linecrest Road a little bit, so that it will better align with other roadways," he said.
When Georgia roads were originally constructed about 100 years ago, workers were instructed to go around areas, such as hills, that were difficult to clear, said McKinnon.
"A lot of those roads just don't hook together well ... They [original builders] would take the path of least resistance," he said.
McKinnon said the project was awarded to E.R. Snell Contractors, Inc., of Snellville. The contractor will most likely begin construction work after Jan. 1, he said.
The work will begin with the clearing of power, water and gas lines, he said. Other construction will probably begin in the spring. The project's completion date is April 30, 2012, he said.
"There will be some [minor] traffic delays in the area," he added.
This project "will be among the final Georgia DOT projects paid for by remaining stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," added David Spear, another spokesperson for the state transportation department.
McKinnon said the department has awarded contracts for 270 transportation projects, valued at more than $783 million, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"Georgia is the [third] fastest-growing state in the nation, yet 49th in per capita spending on transportation," said Spear. "Additional transportation revenues are imperative to grow and sustain Georgia's economic vitality and quality of life through the 21st Century."