After 1st cuts, Fayette in line for $320 million in T-SPLOST
Based on the first cut of a smorgasbord of proposed transportation projects announced July 7, Fayette County looks to be in line for about $320 million
in road, bridge and tunnel projects affecting the county if a regional sales tax is approved in 2012.
Making the cut on what the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable called “a first pass” were an interchange fix for Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 74 in Fairburn; a mini-bypass for Peachtree City with an extension of MacDuff Parkway to Hwy. 74; big road widening projects on Ga. Highway 54 east of Fayetteville, on McDonough Road into Clayton County, on Ga. Highway 85 north of Fayetteville into Clayton, on segment I of the East Fayetteville Bypass, on Hwy. 85 from Grady Avenue south to Bernhard Road and on Ga. Highway 92 in north Fayette; and even including a cart path “Gateway” bridge across Hwy. 54 in Peachtree City near Wynnmeade Parkway.
“The staff-developed project list gives Roundtable Executive Committee members a place to begin the challenging task of prioritizing the region’s transportation needs,” a news release from the Atlanta Regional Commission says. “By Oct. 15, the Roundtable must develop the final list of projects worth a total of $6.1 billion, which will go before voters in a regional referendum on July 31, 2012.
“The staff-developed list includes 217 projects, down from 446, at an estimated cost of $12.2 billion. This amount is almost exactly double the amount of the final $6.1 billion list, meaning that it will need to be cut in half again,” The ARC says.
Below is a list of the projects in descending order of cost, not all of which are inside Fayette County but which will have a significant effect on Fayette drivers:
• SR 920 (McDonough Road) from SR 54 (Jonesboro Road) in Fayette County to US 19/41 (Tara Boulevard) in Clayton County — Widening roadway; asked for and got $70,579,770.
• SR 54 (Fayetteville Road) from McDonough Road in Fayette County to US 19/41 (Tara Boulevard) in Clayton County — Widening roadway; asked for and got $40,088,373.
• SR 85 from SR 279 (Old National Highway) in Fayette County to Roberts Drive in Clayton County — Widening roadway; asked for and got $28,426,000.
• East Fayetteville Bypass Segment 1 (South) from South Jeff Davis Road to SR 54 (East Lanier Avenue) — New alignment and widening roadway; asked for and got $28,275,000.
• I-85 South at SR 138 (Jonesboro Road) — Interchange improvements; asked and got $28,061,993.
• SR 85 Phase 1 from Bernhard Road to Grady Avenue — Widening roadway; asked for and got $23,966,000.
• I-85 South at SR 74 — Interchange improvements to roadway; asked for and got $22,500,000.
• SR 92 to SR 138 Connector — New Alignment from SR 138 in Fulton County to SR 92 in Fayette County — roadway; asked for and got 18,300,000.
• SR 92 from Jimmy Mayfield Boulevard to McBride Road — Widening roadway; asked for and got $15,915,000.
• Tyrone Road / Palmetto Road from SR 54 to Coweta County line — Operational improvements to roadway; asked for and got $13,252,000.
• East Fayetteville Bypass Segment 2 (North) from SR 54 (East Lanier Avenue) to SR 85 — New alignment and widening roadway; asked for and got $9,113,000.
• MacDuff Parkway Extension Phase 2 — New alignment to connect SR 54 to SR 74 — New alignment roadway; asked for and got $7,210,540.
• Hood Avenue Connector / SR 92 Realignment — New alignment of roadway; asked for and got $6,421,691.
• McIntosh Road at Flint River — Bridge replacement roadway; asked for and got $2,937,000.
• SR 54 West and Gateway Bridge Path Connections — Bike/pedestrian; asked for and got $1,881,762.
• South Industrial Park Path Connection — Bike/pedestrian; asked for and got $1,207,701.
• Southeast Industrial Park Path Connection — Bike/pedestrian; asked for and got $1,147,181.
• Wilshire Shopping Center / Rite Aid tunnel path connections — Bike/pedestrian; asked for and got $600,000.
More information, including a complete list of all proposed projects can be found at www.atlantaregionalroundtable.com.
EARLIER ONLINE VERSION —
Projects for a proposed regional transportation sales tax will be facing another ax as the effort to pare the list down continues. State transportation officials are cutting the initial $23 billion list of projects in half by analyzing projects on several criteria including congestion relief and “geographic equity within the region.”
The latter means that regional officials are aware they will have to “sell” the project list to voters in the entire 10-county metro Atlanta region, who have the final say on the proposed sales tax at the polls next summer.
There is hope that one of the projects having the largest effect on Fayette commuters will survive the cut: improvements to the interchange of Ga. Highway 74 North and Interstate 85 just across the county line in Fairburn. The area has congestion issues in both the morning and afternoon weekday drive times, and also has a growing amount of tractor trailer traffic anticipated due to development of warehouses along Oakley Industrial Boulevard.
Those same trucks also use the Hwy. 74/I-85 area to access the interstate.
The area has been identified by the state as having congestion issues; if improvements are effective they stand to help thousands of local commuters.
A host of other projects for Fayette County have also been proposed for funding from the regional sales tax, including the rerouting of Ga. Highway 92 as it comes into downtown Fayetteville, the widening of Ga. Highway 54 from McDonough Road into Clayton County, and many others.
Whether they make the next round of cuts depends not just on congestion relief and geographic equity, but also upon whether the projects can be constructed or substantially underway within the 10-year life of the sales tax. Another consideration that will be applied is the potential economic impact and job creation involved with a given project, officials have said.
The proposed sales tax could be enacted in Fayette County even if the vote fails locally. That’s because the legislation enabling the tax calls for the vote to be tallied region-wide, meaning that the votes from all 10 counties will be lumped together.
The Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable, a 21-member group of metro Atlanta elected officials, is paring down the project list down to a targeted $6.1 million figure. Among that roundtable are Fayette County Commission Chairman Herb Frady and Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele.
The Roundtable consists of the county commission chairman from each county along with one mayor from each county plus the mayor of the city of Atlanta.
Although the first rounds of cuts are being performed by the Roundtable’s five-member executive committee, the final project list must be approved by majority vote of the entire 21-member Roundtable.