Fayette gets $142 million for 10 projects on regional list

Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele at an August 2011 City Council meeting. Photo/Ben Nelms.

A project to fix the often-clogged interchange of Ga. Highway 74 and Interstate 85, the bane of many Fayette commuters, has survived another round of cuts for consideration in a push for a regional transportation sales tax.

The interchange fix, projected at $22.5 million, is on a list approved Monday by the five-member executive committee of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable.

The interchange fix, along with the 10 other projects OK’d for Fayette County, face on more hurdle: approval on Oct. 15 by the entire 21-member regional transportation roundtable.

Fayette got 10 projects on the most recent list, at a total of an additional $141.8 million. They include the realignment of Ga. Highway 92 and Hood Avenue in Fayetteville, both segments of the East Fayetteville Bypass, and some $2.36 million in cart path connections to the southside of Peachtree City’s industrial park.

Also on the list is the widening of Ga. Highway 85 from Grady Avenue in Fayetteville southward to Bernhard Road in unincorporated Fayette County.

Other projects approved for Fayette County by the executive committee include:

• Widening of Ga. Highway 92 from Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard southward to McBride Road in unincorporated Fayette County;

• Operational improvements on Ga. Hwy. 85 south from Bernhard Road southward to Hwy. 74 south;

• A newly-proposed “connector” between Hwy. 92 and Ga. Highway 138 north to link Fulton and Fayette counties; and

• Operational improvements on Hwy. 92 northward from Hwy. 85 in Fayetteville to Oakley Industrial Boulevard in south Fulton County.

One Peachtree City project that didn’t make the list was the “gateway” cart path bridge over Ga. Highway 54 West that would connect an existing cart path along MacDuff Parkway to the Shoppes at the Village Piazza shopping center. But that project can be funded with money from the city’s local share revenue from the tax, which is projected to be upwards of $10 million.

If the tax is approved regionwide, Fayette County is projected to pay in $205 million toward the total over the 10-year life of the sales tax.

The projects on the list, including the I-85/Hwy. 74 interchange in Fairburn, total $164.3 million. The county and its municipalities are also projected to get an additional $43 million back to spend on any local transportation project they wish.

That pushes Fayette’s total projected take to $207 million.

Regionwide the tax is projected to pull in more than $6 billion in revenue over its 10-year lifespan.

The full 21-member roundtable, which includes Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele and Fayette County Commission Chairman Herb Frady, can take add and remove projects from the list with a majority vote. The final list is expected to be voted on no later than October 15.

In the meantime, the roundtable will be gathering more public input to help shape the final list that will be considered by voters in the referendum. A public meeting about the regional transportation sales tax proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 6-8 p.m. at Fayette County’s Stonewall government complex in downtown Fayetteville.

The sales tax referendum was initially scheduled to be in July 2012 as part of the primaries, but there is a chance the legislature may move the date to the November general election at the request of Gov. Nathan Deal.

Proponents of the sales tax have argued that Fayette County will also benefit from other projects on the list scheduled for other counties, such as the widening of Ga. Highway 54 east of Fayetteville to U.S. Hwy. 19/41, most of which is located in Clayton County for a total price tag of $40 million.

Also in Clayton County with a potential affect on Fayette County is the widening of Ga. Highway 85 from Old National Highway to Roberts Drive, projected cost at $28.4 million.

Opponents of the tax previously have argued that Fayette County won’t get its fair share of projects and instead would end up “donating” a good portion of tax proceeds to the remainder of the Atlanta region.

ginga1414
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TRUER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SPOKEN

For some time, now, I have thought that the AJC was biased in their reporting pertaining to the 2012 Regional SPLOST. However, I may have to rethink my evaluation.

One paragraph in today's edition really caught my attention. It says, "The list, negotiated by mayors and county commissioners, is as much a political document as a transportation plan. Their goal was not just to draw a strategy against congestion, but to win over voters across a disparate region, and negotiations often focused on "geographic equity."

johenry
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MARTA, oh goody!

If you've read the AJC, you'll know this TSPLOST is all about saving MARTA. We're going to be told to pay up for MARTA and Clayton County and the GRTA buses into the future!

NUK_1
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So ill-informed as always....

The TSPLOST forbids a cent going towards MARTA's operating costs. That's why Fulton and Dekalb counties are threatening to vote AGAINST the TSPLOST and think it does nothing for public transportation. Their politicos have been raising hell about this FACT for months and that's why the AJC has opined that the TSPLOST would likely fail if the vote was held right now.

The MARTA hysteria here is laughable. MARTA is NOT coming to Fayette County. I don't know how many people have to say this over and over. Maybe some of the clueless sheeple in FC can manage to one day do a tiny bit of research and then get informed instead of dragging knuckles on the ground with tinfoil hats on their heads because a couple of local kooks who are not taken seriously by the vast majority keep telling you that "MARTA IS COMING! MARTA IS COMING!" Yes, MARTA is flat-out broke and won't get anything at all from the TSPLOST to cover its huge deficits it continually runs, but they are going to somehow expand into a County that is 99% against MARTA with monopoly money. RIGHT. The ARC? They say the same exact thing about no way in hell MARTA expands into FC.

Who are the only people in FC that think MARTA is coming to FC? Two discredited politicans that have a small cult following of sheeple who'll believe ANYTHING they say, and I mean ANYTHING. If Haddix today said "the sun rises in the West," 4 people here would quickly post "yes, that's right....and so courageous! He's speaking for the common man!"

BHH
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This can't be right.

"Also in Clayton County with a potential affect on Fayette County is the widening of Ga. Highway 85 from Old National Highway to Roberts Drive, projected cost at $28.4 million."

I still contend that the I-85/Hwy74 interchange is destined for improvement no matter whether we contribute or not as is the widening of 54 to 19/41.

So the figures still don't add up.

The state now allows golf carts on state roads when local laws are in accord so I don't see the need for any more cart paths, but simply a change in local laws.

But I can't argue much with the rest of the proposals.

AtHomeGym
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BHH & "This can't be right"

Ahhh, no, I don't think so either--tell me how you get to Old National from GA 85----Maybe by helicopter.

BHH
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The point is

that none of it is Clayton county.

hutch866
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Gym

Go straight up 85 north, when you get to the Quick Trip gas station hang a left and that is hwy 279 or Old National.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Carts

Carts are not allowed on State highways by State Law. Never have been or we would be doing it.

Getting it allowed has been a long standing issue for some of us. So far the answer has always been, "No."

In fact, this summer I talked to a group representing golf cart manufacturers. They are now involved in the effort to find a way to make it legal at crosswalks.

You are correct that the Interchange will be improved, but not because we are wanting it. It is not designated or charged as a Fayette project by the State under the TSPLOST.

Citizen_Steve
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Planterra Crossing

Why have golf carts been allowed to cross 54 from Home Depot toward Planterra?

I do not recall any publicity about Peachtree City's request for exemptions being denied. Who or what dept is saying no and what is their justification?

Steve

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Planterra

That was a temporary exception granted until the CSX Bridge was completed.

There is no allowance now.

Citizen_Steve
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Exception

Who granted the exception? Is it a matter of the city using discretion in its enforcement?

PTC32YEARS
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Still doing it

They are still crossing at Planterra and at MacDuff. I have seen carts cross right in front a police car and nothing was done. Does the police force know the rules for carts and state highways?

Spyglass
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Good grief..

It's not that big of a deal. Last thing we need is a tattle tale.

PTC32YEARS
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Who will be at fault

Who will be at fault when a cart and a car get into an accident when the cart is crossing the state highway illegally? I have seen several close calls with teenagers behind the wheel of the carts. Are we going to wait until something bad happens?...........This city was lot better 20 years ago.

roundabout
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"Tattle Tail" (or is it Tale?)

Cops ignore violations----say it ain't so, Shoeless Joe!

Bank examiners don't tattle? That's right they don't! (unless under scrutiny)

Standard & Poor's approve of terrible home asset bundles? Sure. But mad up for it.

Bush & Company ignore war debt and banks? No way! Didn't even ask for the money---isn't that illegal? No way illegal, it was simply "off the books."

moelarrycurly
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.

deleted in deference to Spy...

Speaking of Spy and carts, did you ever get to the Biscuit?

BHH
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This bill in effect will allow modified carts on the road,
Don Haddix
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Haddix: Still Not Legal

That bill created designations. Other State legislation still prohibits crossing highways.

As I said before, if it were legal we would allow it.

Now, if someone gets across without being stopped at Planterra, they are lucky. Others have not been so fortunate.

Everyone is supposed to use the legal crossing at Huddleston and CSX.

BHH
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Thank you, Don

I appreciate your participation in this forum.

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