$6 million Rock Quarry Road construction begins Friday

Motorists in the Southern Crescent area, primarily in Henry and Clayton counties, who routinely use Rock Quarry Road as a cut through from North Henry Boulevard, to Eagles Landing Parkway, will have to find another short cut. starting Friday.

Rock Quarry Road will be closed at the railroad tracks, through December 2012, said Roque Romero, Henry County's SPLOST transportation director, on Wednesday.

"This will allow for the construction of a bridge over the railroad tracks," said county spokesperson, Julie Hoover-Ernst.

The total budget for the bridge project is $6,990,780. It is part of the third installment of the county's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) program.

Rock Quarry Road connects Ga. Highway 138, also known as North Henry Boulevard, to Eagle's Landing Parkway. The county has established a detour route, using Flippen Road, and Banks Roads.

Railroad Street will remain open as an additional alternate route. Detour signage has been posted.

"It [Rock Quarry] goes right by the hospital, so it is an important connector road in Henry County," said Hoover-Ernst. The bridge "will be constructed to, one day, accommodate four lanes, even though Rock Quarry Road is not expected to be widened for some time.

"Such planning for future expansion saves the county both time and money, because they are able to go ahead and acquire the right-of-way needed for the future at today's prices, pay only once to move the utilities, and disturb the land at the bridge just one time," Hoover-Ernst said. "Once complete, the bridge is expected to greatly reduce traffic congestion and emergency-response times in the area."

Original plans called for the road to be closed, Thursday. However, Hoover-Ernst said, SPLOST crews had to put off construction for one more day, because of the recent rain.

For more information, call Henry's SPLOST Department, at (770) 288-7319.