Public input sought on McDonough Road widening

— Residents of Lovejoy will see a radically different McDonough Road in a few years, but they first need to learn what’s going to happen and how they will be impacted.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is in the early stages of planning a major widening project for a 5.78 mile stretch of McDonough Road between Tara Boulevard and Ga. 54 in Fayetteville. The project will entail new intersections, bridges and new amenities along the road, and is expected to cost more then $50 million, said DOT spokesman Rick Parham.

A public input meeting will be held Thursday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Lovejoy High School, 1587 McDonough Road, to give residents and business owners a chance to weigh in on the plans.

“It’s going to be a pretty big project and folks need to know about it,” said Parham. “If the median blocks access to a business’ entrance from one side of the highway, then that business will be impacted and those are the kinds of things we need to hear about.”

Construction is not expected to begin for about four years, Parham said. That’s because the state is still going through the steps of getting rights-of-way and environmental clearance.

Once completed, however, the number of lanes on the two-lane road will double, according to a DOT flyer announcing the meeting. A 20-foot raised concrete median, bicycle paths, new sidewalks, gutters and curbs will be built. New bridges will also be built over Hurricane Creek and the Flint River.

“McDonough Road is going to be changed drastically,” said Parham.

Project engineers will be at the input meeting to explain the plans, and handouts are expected to be posted on www.dot.ga.gov under “information center” section. Residents and business owners who cannot attend the meeting can mail their comments to State Environmental Administrator Glenn Bowman at Georgia DOT, 600 West Peachtree St. NW, 16th Floor, Atlanta, Ga. 30308.

DOT officials must received comments by July 25.