NEW­TON COUNTY ROADS GDOT road projects in county mov­ing for­ward

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

Sev­eral much an­tic­i­pated road im­prove­ment projects are mov­ing for­ward and with Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion fund­ing af­ter the county had given up hope of re­ceiv­ing state as­sis­tance while GDOT works out its fi­nan­cial trou­bles.

In the wake of con­tin­ued bud­get is­sues which have left the trans­porta­tion depart­ment with a $190 mil­lion bud­get deficit for Fis­cal Year 2009, New­ton County had not an­tic­i­pated much fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the state on lo­cal projects in the near fu­ture.

The Board of Com­mis­sion­ers de­cided to move for­ward with sev­eral projects any­way with the hopes that their proac­tive­ness would be looked upon fa­vor­ably by GDOT.

And it ap­pears it has. GDOT is pro- vid­ing fund­ing for two lo­cal projects.

“We said to the state, ‘we’ll do it.’ Af­ter we de­signed [the Smith Store in­ter­sec­tion im­prove­ments] they agreed to pay for it,” said County En­gi­neer Kevin Wal­ter.

A con­trac­tor, E.R. Snell, has been se­lected to han­dle the sig­nal­iza­tion and ad­di­tion of turn lanes to the in­ter­sec­tion of Smith Store Road and Salem Road. The cost of the project, $700,000, is be­ing picked up by GDOT. Wal­ter said he ex­pected construction to get un­der- way this fall.

A sec­ond project to re­lo­cate one of the two in­ter­sec­tions at Brown Bridge Road and Ga. High­way 212 north­ward is also go­ing out to bid. That project has an es­ti­mated cost of $1 mil­lion and GDOT has said it will pick up $500,000 of the cost.

“It’s very for­tu­nate that they are agree­ing to pay for th­ese projects dur­ing th­ese hard times,” Wal­ter said, adding that both in­ter­sec­tions have been in

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