By Valerie Baldowski
The McDonough Parkway extension is now officially open to traffic.
Henry County officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. It marked the opening of the parkway extension, on the bridge over the railroad tracks, near the intersection of McDonough Parkway and Ga. Highway 42.
"We're creating a bypass around the Square in McDonough," said District III Commissioner Randy Stamey, during the ribbon cutting Thursday. "We have a bridge over the railroad tracks, [which] will no longer require people to sit and wait for a train to cross," Stamey added.
"The response time for emergency vehicles is going to be shortened. Some of this road goes in and out of the city, so I think they'll see some benefits in the response time for emergency vehicles, too," the commissioner continued.
The 1.15 mile extension runs from Jonesboro Road to Highway 42, said Melissa Robinson, of Henry County communications.
The Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) project began in December 2008, and the total budget for the work was $4,583,000, Robinson said.
One of the last sections of the parkway extension project was to install 150 Leyland cypress and loblolly pine trees along the road extension, which resulted in a cost increase. During the Oct. 18 Henry County Board of Commissioners meeting, the commissioners approved the additional cost of $1,450 to install the trees along the extension.
Stamey said the trees are expected to be planted in the next 30 days.