The Covington News - - Lo­cal News -

need of se­ri­ous im­prove­ments for some time and have been is­sues of con­cern for the BOC for four years now.

The sig­nal­iza­tion of the in­ter­sec­tion of Ga. High­way 81 and Crow­ell Road how­ever will not be re­ceiv­ing funding from GDOT.

“The funding for that in­ter­sec­tion is no longer there,” said County Chair­man Aaron Varner at Tues­day’s BOC meet­ing, adding that a move by GDOT to change their en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mit­ting pro­ce­dures from fed­er­ally ap­proved ones to state ap­proved ones cost the depart­ment some fed­eral funding, which would have been used for the Crow­ell Road in­ter­sec­tion.

GDOT was sup­posed to pay the full costs of the project, which would have added a traf­fic sig­nal and turn lanes to the busy in­ter­sec­tion.

Varner told the BOC that the project was too im­por­tant to the county to wait for state funding. He asked for and re­ceived board ap­proval to move for­ward with the project with­out the state. All funding for the project is to be ap­proved by the board.

Con­struc­tion on the project is ex­pected to cost $1 mil­lion and the ac­qui­si­tion of nec­es­sary right of way is ex­pected to cost $375,000.

Wal­ter said many of the county’s thor­ough­fares are get­ting close to ca­pac­ity and will soon need to be widened in or­der to keep pace with driver use.

“We’ve kept up with things in the last five years, just barely,” said Wal­ter of main­te­nance of the county’s road in­fras­truc­ture. “But if we don’t start now on sev­eral projects, to be com­pleted in five to 10 years, driv­ing con­di­tions are go­ing to be a lot worse be­cause of ris­ing pop­u­la­tions.”

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