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County wants to beat traffic
Projects proposed for next 30 years
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Forsyth County News


It could take as many as 132 projects to meet Forsyth County's transportation needs over the next 30 years.

The county presented the proposal, which calls for widening roads and improving intersections, among other efforts, during an open house Monday.

Pending revision and county commission approval, the projects will become part of the county's updated comprehensive transportation plan.

The plan serves as a blueprint for travel over the next 30 years, during which residential and business growth are expected to double.

Each five years, the county revisits the plan, which was last updated in 2006.

The time frame for each project -- 2020, 2030 or 2040 -- was based on relieving congestion, said Steve Brown with county contractor Wilbur Smith Associates.

Brown added that the projects are "all in flux based on funding," which is also identified in the plan.

The Monday meeting was the second, following an open house in January. The first meeting offered data, not projects, and sought feedback.

"There were a lot of good comments about the type of projects needed," Brown said. "That's definitely incorporated in some of these projects."

Of the 132 projects, 86 are aimed at increasing capacity and 46 involve intersection improvements.

Nearly all of the efforts involve roads, though potential new park-and-ride or high-speed rail stations are identified as eventual possibilities.

Short-range projects included primarily widening roads, among them parts of Hwys. 20, 369 and 306, as well as Bethelview, Castleberry and McGinnis Ferry roads.

Hwy. 9 and Ga. 400 were listed for widening in the mid- and long-range categories.

All the maps will be available for review on the county's Web site within about a week, said Tim Allen, assistant director of engineering.

Monday's open house did not draw a crowd.

Bill Tannahill, a north Forsyth resident, said he came to understand what improvements were planned and for when.

He said he left knowing little more than he did when he arrived, because looking at maps didn't offer a true picture of what would happen.

Tannahill said his concerns with county transportation lie in controlling growth.

He's also been active in the county's concurrent comprehensive plan update process.

Teresa O'Leary represented her homeowners association at the open house.

The neighborhood wants to keep up with the eventual widening of nearby Hwy. 20, she said.

While the transportation plan establishes a framework, Brown reminded attendees that the listed projects aren't 100 percent certain.

"We hope this reflects the citizens' concerns, but it's just a plan," he said. "Even when it's adopted by the board, it's not set in stone.

"It's reviewed every year, really. We'll formally take a look at it in another five years."