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Forsyth County road improvement projects coming in over, under budget
SPLOST projects more on target than secondary plans
2WEB guard rail
Forsyth County commissioners heard an update on funding for road projects from the countys chief financial officer, Dave Gruen, during a presentation on funding for capital projects recently. - photo by File photo

Forsyth County is spending a lot to deal with traffic woes in the county.

At a recent work session, Forsyth County commissioners heard an update on funding for road projects from the county’s chief financial officer, Dave Gruen, during a presentation on funding for capital projects.

The discussion looked at the original funding, the expended or contracted amount and the change between the two figures for SLPOST and transportation bond projects.

Four widening projects were listed as SPLOST VI and SPLOST VII and figures, which overall came in at $6.3 million cheaper than expected.

“These dollar amounts here are not necessarily the entire amount SPLOST VII would end up paying, it’s just how much was listed in SPLOST VII for these four roads,” Gruen said.

Those projects are the widenings for: Castleberry Road Phase 1, Old Atlanta Road Phases 2 and 3 and Union Hill and Mullinax roads. About $36.5 million was designated for original funding and only about $30.2 million was contracted or expended.

Also using SPLOST funds are widenings of the Coal Mountain intersection (Hwys. 9 and 369) and Atlanta Highway (Hwy. 9 south) at Piney Grove Road and bike and pedestrian improvements on Majors Road, Caney Road and Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Intersection improvements at Wallace Tatum and Wright Bridge roads, Wallace Tatum and Burnt Bridge roads and Holbrook Road and Burnt Bridge Road were also funded by SPLOST.

Contracts for those projects came out $7.1 million cheaper than original funding, with the biggest changes being Caney Road’s bike and pedestrian plan going from $1.4 million to about $880,000 and the Holbrook at Burnt Bridge project costing increasing from $500,000 in original funding to $789,649 being contracted.

Under Category B SPLOST projects, which are typically less pressing, projects came out $1,084,180 more expensive than expected. The only project originally funded was widening McGinnis Ferry Road, also a bond project, which original funding and estimated cost were both $1,250,000.

Two projects in the category were not included in the original funding: passing lanes on Matt Highway (Hwy. 369 west), $1,049,180; and improving the Dahlonega Highway (Hwy. 9 north) and Smith Lane intersection.

Overall, SPLOST projects were about $6 million less in contracts than original funding.

District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said the bids were coming in higher due to increasing costs in materials.

While SPLOST came out ahead, contracted bond projects came to $76 million, about $47 million more than expected.

For bond projects, the most expensive was the widening of Ga. 400, originally funded for $53 million and contracted for $34.5 million.

Advance funding from other county sources provided $18 million in contingency from other county sources to begin the Ga. 400 and Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369) interchange at what will become Exit 18.

A widening project for Union Hill Road and its bridge replacement was $19,717,622. For the project, $13.4 million was proposed.

Also funded by the bond were intersection, sidewalk and unpaved road projects at: Matt Highway and the bus field entrance near North Forsyth High School; Atlanta Highway and Campground Road; Peachtree Parkway (Hwy. 141) and Old Alpharetta Road; Dahlonega Highway and Martin Road; Ga. 400 and Jot Em Down Road; and Keith Bridge Road (Hwy. 306 east) and Little Mill Road.

The McGinnis Ferry widening project also will cost an estimated $25.8 million, $7.8 million more expensive than expected. Other traffic improvements were about $3.7 million more than original funding.

Bond projects are about $1.3 million more expensive than planned.