One more piece in place for big F’ville roundabout

Round and round we go, and Fayetteville is now one step closer to what will be the much-delayed Hood Avenue/Ga. Highway 92/Jeff Davis Drive Connector with included roundabout, intended to help mitigate the gridlock caused by the tens of thousands of vehicles that pass through the downtown area each day.

To that end, the City Council on May 1 approved an agreement with George H. Green Oil Company, which operates the BP station at the corner of Hwy. 92 and Ga. Highway 85.

The council agreed to purchase 2,853 square feet of property for $66,000 and other considerations in lieu of an eminent domain litigation. The BP station is situated along Hwy. 85 between Hwy. 92 and Hood Avenue.

Green Oil initially rejected the city’s offer, requesting instead a total of $700,000 which would include the cost of acquiring the property and various concerns such as drainage relocation, landscaping, realignment of signs, improvements to the parking lot and driveway and business loss and damages.

The city agreed to pay Green Oil $66,000 for 2,853 square feet along Hwy. 85 and Hood Avenue. The agreement also includes a payment of $1,568 for a construction easement totaling 193 square feet.

Per the agreement, the city by Dec. 31, 2016 will relocate the lighted sign to a new location, close the driveway at Hood Avenue and construct a new driveway on the realigned Hwy. 92, construct a new 30-foot driveway on the west side of the property where the Hwy. 92 roundabout will be located, permit a sign on the same side of the property, convey a small portion of the west side property and replace the parking spaces which will be displaced by the construction along Hood Avenue.

Fayetteville Public Services Director Chris Hindman said there are approximately six other relatively small parcels yet to be acquired for the project. They are located on the east side of Hwy. 85 in the area of the upcoming Kathi Avenue and Church Street extensions.

As for the council’s vote on the agreement with Green Oil property, Hindman said, “We’re one step closer to realizing the project’s completion.”

The Hood Avenue/Hwy. 92/Jeff Davis Connector project will relocate the traffic signal at Hwy. 85 and Hwy. 92 a short distance to the south at Hood Avenue. A large roundabout will connect Hood Avenue to Hwy. 92 on the west side of Hwy. 85.

The project also includes extending Hood Avenue east across Glynn Street along the south side of Hudson Plaza where the current building perpendicular to Hwy. 85 will be removed. Hood Avenue will link with Kathi Avenue and Jeff Davis Drive to the east. Church Street will also be extended from Georgia Avenue to Kathi Avenue. Another roundabout will link Hood Avenue, Kathi Avenue and Church Street.

Overall, the project is meant to diminish traffic accidents at Hood Avenue and Hwy. 92, relieve traffic congestion in the Hwy. 85/Ga. Highway 54 area, relieve traffic congestion on Georgia Avenue near the post office and improve traffic safety for the two schools located on the west side of Hwy. 85.

What had been an initial estimated project cost of $8.25 million in 2012, with $7.64 million from the county and $616,700 of city funds, has turned into $9.27 million today.

Hindman said costs have increased in the past year or two for items such as asphalt, property acquisition, stormwater issues and best environmental practices.