By M.J. Subiria Arauz
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has recently awarded 31 new contracts for transportation improvement projects throughout the state, valued at more than $57 million, said David Spear, a spokesman for GDOT.
According to Mark McKinnon, another GDOT spokesman, four of the projects involve Clayton, Fulton and Henry counties. None has begun, yet.
Clayton County is part of a project, according to Spear, that involves the resurfacing of Interstate 75, between University Avenue, also known as State Route 54, south of downtown Atlanta, and the interchange with Interstate 285 in Clayton.
There are six lanes in each direction, a total of 12 lanes, said Spear. The lanes will be sequentially resurfaced, with a minimum of two lanes open at all times, in each direction, he said.
McKinnon said the project will take up only about a half-a-mile in Clayton. The contract for the six-mile project was awarded to C.W. Matthews Contracting Company, Inc., of Marietta, for $22.8 million and will begin this spring, said Spear. It is scheduled to be completed in December.
The second transportation project in Clayton, includes Fulton County, and covers bridge rehabilitation and bridge-deck joint sealing on Clark Howell Highway and Loop Road, Spear said.
The bridge is on, and goes over, Interstate 285, McKinnon explained. The work will fall evenly in Clayton and Fulton counties."The bridge crosses right there on the [county] lines," he said. The contract for the project was awarded to Massana Construction, Inc., of Tyrone, Ga., in the amount of $706,032. Work is anticipated to be completed on Dec. 31, he said..
McKinnon said the bridge rehabilitation project will include the top layer of the bridge being cut off of the deck to reseal the joints. The top layer will then be put back on.
"This will make it smoother," said McKinnon. "It's not a safety problem," he added. "It's just time."
There are also two improvement projects in Henry County, said
McKinnon. One is about five miles long, on State Route 42, beginning at State Route 138, and extending to the Clayton County line.
The resurfacing project will include milling, plant-mix resurfacing, single-surface treatment paving and shoulder rehabilitation, he said. Workers will keep lanes open on both sides, or provide a detour for this project, to keep traffic flow going, said McKinnon.
Terry McMickle, division director of public works in Henry County, said the project is being done, due to the ongoing need for maintenance on area roads. "You need to do that, in order to keep your infrastructure up where it's supposed to be," said McMickle.
McKinnon added that the contract for this project was awarded to C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc., in the amount of $1.7 million.
The second Henry County project will be on State Route 81, at Racetrack Road, said McKinnon. It will include widening the road for a right-turn lane, and installation of a Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) system, he explained.
McKinnon said that the CCTV system allows GDOT's traffic operators to monitor that intersection for vehicular accidents. If an accident is spotted, operators can quickly call authorities to assess the incident, he said.
Henry County's McMickle said that the intersection has a bit of an accident history, and resurfacing is badly needed in that area.
"Henry County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state," added McKinnon. "The more it grows, the more we have to come up with ideas for transportation in that area."
He said the contract was awarded to Pittman Construction Company, of Conyers, Ga., in the amount of $1.3 million.
The completion date is March 31, 2012, said officials.
-- Henry Herald Staff Writer, Jason Smith, contributed to this report.