Henry's Western Parallel Connector project moving forward

Henry County is continuing with plans to align two heavily-traveled roads in the area, after hearing from local residents on the subject.

A group of 60 people attended a recent Livable Centers Initiative meeting at Pate’s Creek Elementary School, to learn about the Western Parallel Connector project.

The connector is the primary artery proposed to link Hudson Bridge Road and Jonesboro Road, said county spokesperson, Julie Hoover-Ernst.

“Consultants will be taking the feedback from the meeting, and combining that with historical and topographical and environmental data, to develop a conceptual design for the road alignment,” she said.

“The alignment of this proposed roadway was the focus of a supplemental study grant, awarded by the Atlanta Regional Commission in 2009,” she said.

“The process actually began in July 2010, when Henry County adopted the Hudson Bridge-Jonesboro Roads Connector Activity Center Livable Centers Initiative Study, the result of months of input from residents, businesses, land owners, and Henry County officials, which established a collaborative vision for the area that will create a place of lasting economic, social, and environmental value for the community,” Hoover-Ernst continued.

The county spokesperson added that the Dec. 7 meeting was important for the county, in terms of fostering community awareness about the road alignment. She said the project will help to relieve congestion in Henry County, by creating more thoroughfares for local traffic.

“We’re very used to roads being paved or widened,” she said. “But this is a new road that will allow local traffic to travel from Jodeco Road to the Hudson Bridge area without having to get on the interstate.”

The JB + a, Inc., consulting firm was hired, in October, to complete the transportation study. The firm’s award was in the amount of $100,000, and included a $50,000 grant, plus a 50-percent match using the SPLOST III budget.

Henry Commission Chairman Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis has said, once public comment has been received and evaluated, the most feasible alignment will be presented.

Hoover-Ernst, in November, said the mixed-use development calls for five clusters to be developed, each containing walkable centers with different housing options, retail, civic, jobs and open-space uses.

“In accordance with the Atlanta Regional Commission’s ‘Complete Streets’ policy, each of these clusters would be connected by pedestrian and bicycle links, as well as roads for vehicles,” she said.

For more information on the LCI Study, or the Western Parallel Connector Feasibility Study, visit www.hcpz.org/lci.