Forsyth County voters approved the county’s $200 million transportation bond in 2014 to help alleviate traffic congestion and to plan for ongoing growth, and though many of those projects are undergoing construction, residents could soon see the payoff of their vote.
During a work session on Tuesday, Forsyth County commissioners heard an update on transportation projects being paid for through the bond and a special 1-cent sales tax.
Engineering Director John Cunard said the widening of Ga. 400 is the largest of the projects and that officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation said certain portions will open soon — all northbound projects are expected to be completed within a year.
“He just wanted to confirm that the section from McFarland Parkway [Exit 12] to [Hwy.] 141 [Exit 13] northbound is still on schedule to be opened by September,” Cunard said. “He just noted that [Hwy.] 141 to Bald Ridge Marina [Exit 15] northbound is scheduled by March 2017, and all of northbound, including the outside shoulder, is scheduled to be opened by June of 2017.”
Those who commute to Atlanta for work will likely have an easier morning than the drive home, as improvements to the southbound lane will take a bit longer.
“McFarland Parkway to [Hwy.] 20 [Exit 14] southbound is scheduled to be open by April 2018,” Cunard said. “All of southbound is scheduled to be complete, including the outside shoulder, by October 2018.”
Another widening project for Union Hill Road and a bridge on the road has been bid to contractor C.W. Matthews, with an expected completion of December 2017.
Other road widenings that will be funded through the bond include: Post Road (Hwy. 371), McGinnis Ferry Road, Brookwood Road, Pilgrim Mill Road and the fourth and fifth phases of Old Atlanta Road.
An interchange at McGinnis Ferry Road and Ga. 400, a new interchange at Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369) and Ga. 400 and an extension of Ronald Reagan wBoulevard are also bond projects.
Those projects are currently either under design or the county is pursuing right of way.
Under bonds, the county has several sidewalk, intersection and traffic improvement projects. Of those, traffic lights at the intersections of Market Place Boulevard and Turner Road and Hwy. 9 and Bannister Road will be completed in December and September, respectively.
Five of the sales tax, or SPLOST, widening projects are under construction.
Bethelview Road from Castleberry Road to Canton Highway (Hwy. 20) is slated for completion in 2019, and the widening of Union Hill and Mullinax roads from Dahlonega Highway (Hwy. 9) to McFarland Parkway should be done by Oct. 30.
Widening projects are currently ongoing on the second and third phases of Old Atlanta Road and Castleberry Road. Cunard said the projects were bid to the same company, Vertical Earth, and that there is no scheduled completion date and that the projects are behind schedule.
The county is obtaining right of way for the widening of Sharon Road, and the widening of McFarland Parkway is planned but currently unfunded.
Like with the bond, the county has right of way for many of the SPLOST sidewalk, intersection and traffic improvement projects.
Soon-to-be-completed projects include: a sidewalk on Caney and Old Alpharetta roads, which will be completed by Oct. 30, and traffic signal and pedestrian intersection upgrades at McGinnis Ferry Road and McFarland Boulevard, which should be done by Aug. 23.
The tax funds will also pay to resurface 64.5 miles of county roads by the end of the year.
Cunard said the county keeps updated lists of projects online at forsythco.com/Departments-Offices/Engineering/Transportation-Plans-Projects.
“We’ve got updated spreadsheets on the website for SPLOST and bond projects,” he said. “All the project plans are posted.”