Interchange work progresses at Poplar Rd.

The long-anticipated interchange at Poplar Road and Interstate 85 on Newnan’s south side continues to move closer to reality. Coweta County commissioners on July 15 approved $165,000 in professional services needed for appraisals and right-of-way negotiations.

County Administrator Michael Fouts said right-of-way plans for the project are currently under consideration by the Ga. Dept. of Transportation (DOT).

The $165,000 cost will be funded by the county’s special purpose local options sales tax (SPLOST), Fouts said.

County transportation and engineering director Tod Handley in July 11 letter said, “Upon approval of the right-of-way plans by DOT, the county will obtain appraisals for each property which will then be utilized during the negotiation and settlement process for each parcel. The appraisal and negotiation process must follow specific state and federal guidelines and procedures.”

Handley recommended and commissioners approved hiring Carson, Lawson, Cantrell and Associates at a cost of $105,000 to handle appraisals and Dianna Hunt and Associates at a cost of $60,000 to conduct negotiation and property acquisition services.

Proposal packages were provided to five firms, Handley noted.

Coweta County’s contribution to the project of up to $15 million will come from the local 1-percent sales tax (SPLOST).

Poplar Road is fast becoming a magnet for healthcare in Coweta County. The eight-story Piedmont Newnan Hospital opened last year on a large parcel of property adjacent to what will become the interchange. And though currently the tallest building in southwest metro Atlanta, long-term plans for the 362,376 square-foot facility call for the potential construction of a second hospital tower that will link to the existing building.

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