Once-controversial parkway creeps toward completion

Completion for the bridge on Westbridge Road is expected next summer. Photo/Ben Nelms.

What critics called “the road to nowhere” continues being extended to ... somewhere.

Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon in a September update on the Veterans Parkway project said construction is continuing on the 2.6-mile segment extending from Eastin Road to Ga. Highway 92 in northern Fayette County.

The segment of Veterans Parkway from Eastin Road northward to Hwy. 92 is expected to open next summer.

The roundabout at Lees Mill Road is complete and paving work is underway and should be completed this month, Mallon said. Final grading and stabilization and shoulder preparation should be completed in the next 4-6 weeks. Minor landscaping, striping, sign placement and punch-list items will be ongoing through the fall. The road will remain closed to traffic until the bridge over Whitewater Creek and the intersection improvement at Hwy. 92 are completed.

The current plan for the intersection at Westbridge Road is to have a two-way stop installed rather than a roundabout, with stop signs on Veterans Parkway and Westbridge Road.

The entire parkway running from Hwy. 54 to Hwy. 92 at Westbridge Road is expected to be open for traffic in the early summer next year.

The parkway has been open to traffic for some time from Hwy. 54 to Eastin Road.

A part of the Veterans Parkway project involves the ongoing construction of the bridge over Whitewater Creek. The bridge is 647 feet in length and 40 feet in width and will be outfitted with two, 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders.

Though construction has been hampered by frequent summer rains, Mallon said the bridge is expected to be finisshed prior to the completion of the intersection work at Veterans Parkway and Hwy. 92.

Pertaining to other bridge projects around the county, construction of the replacement bridge over Morning Creek on Westbridge Road is well underway and is expected to be completed before the scheduled completion date of summer 2014.

The new 180-foot bridge will be 43 feet in width and will carry a speed limit of 45 miles per hour.

The project involves more than constructing a bridge over Morning Creek. Included in the work is the realignment of Westbridge Road to eliminate an existing sharp curve that represents a safety hazard for motorists, Mallon said.

The contract for the $1.79 million project was approved by the Fayette County Commission in late 2012.

Westbridge Road serves as a connecting roadway between Hwy. 92 and Ga. Highway 138 in south Fulton County.

The Kenwood Road bridge project over Morning Creek west of Ga. Highway 314 began in July and will see the existing 200-foot bridge replaced with one 280 feet in length and 43 feet in width. The bridge project is expected to be completed in February.

Right-of-way acquisitions for the $2.1 million projectwere not needed, Mallon said, though easements from two property owners were required.

Kenwood Road is listed as a minor arterial roadway, used by 3,700 vehicles per day in 2011 and with the projection of 6,000 vehicles per day in 2031.

Bridges scoring below 50 in sufficiency rating (SR) scale of 0-100 are considered to be in need of replacement. The existing Kenwood Road bridge, constructed in 1972, has an SR of 17.39. That rating is the fourth lowest of the bridges in the county, Mallon said.

Issues of concern with the existing Kenwood Road bridge include the concrete superstructure and advanced decay in several timber piles.