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McGinnis Ferry widening, funding aired at meeting

A major road widening project appears to be moving forward, although with less funding from another municipality than Forsyth County Commissioners expected.

After hearing an update from County Attorney Ken Jarrard on the funding for widening McGinnis Ferry Road, commissioners unanimously approved moving the item to the July 10 work session for discussion.

The widening of the road is a joint project between Forsyth County and the cities of John Creek and Alpharetta.

“The bottom line is just the funding,” Jarrard said. “This is an [agreement] that has sort of been long-suffering. We sent this down to Alpharetta quite a while ago … There was one significant change and that was the dollar amount.”

Jarrard said the project would total about $54 million and the county had initially hoped Alpharetta would contribute at least $9 million to the project, which he said was even based on old figures. Instead, city officials said they plan to contribute $4 million for the project.

“So, it’s a $5 million omission,” Jarrard said. “That’s even low given the increased cost of the project.”

The agreement, Jarrard said, “did not suggest that Alpharetta will not come up with more money in the future” but “on the other hand, it doesn’t guarantee any additional funds will be coming either.”

County Manager Eric Johnson said the county should contribute the original $18 million pledged and not go above.

“We know it’s a regional project,” he said. “We’ll go down arm-in-arm with Alpharetta and Johns Creek and ask GDOT to help us all with funding for this regional project.”

County and city of Alpharetta officials are holding a meeting before the work session.

The project would widen about 4.5 miles of the road between Sargent Road and the intersection of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Union Hill Road and calls for two lanes in each direction with a 10-foot wide multi-use path on the north side of the road and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk along the south.