Newnan Bypass Update: Widening progressing, set for July 31 completion
By Sarah Fay Campbell
The contractors working on the widening of the Highway 34 Bypass/Millard Farmer Industrial Boulevard have made significant progress in the past few weeks, and traffic may soon be shifting to the two outside lanes to allow more work on the center median.
The contractor, Sunbelt Structures, has submitted a time extension request with a completion date of July 31, said Kimberly Larson, regional spokeswoman with the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The original completion date was Dec. 31, 2011. A supplemental agreement extended the contract date through Jan. 27.
Starting Jan. 27, Sunbelt began to be penalized for the delay.
“Sunbelt has been placed into liquidating damages,” Larson said. “Dollar amounts of fines (and/or charges per day) are part of the contract,” she said.
The project has proven problematic for some businesses along the Millard Farmer Industrial Boulevard section of the bypass (between Bullsboro and U.S. 29).
Contractors kept open gravel drives to access businesses, but there were complaints about the condition of the drives and the difficulty in figuring out just how to access some areas.
Things are improving on that front. Werz Industrial Drive and Hillwood Circle, two areas that the DOT received complaints about, were recently paved.
Larson said the DOT has “stayed in communication with the contractor and area property owners to keep access to the businesses throughout the job.
“The contractor is responsible for maintaining access to all properties throughout the project, and placed rock down where working and at times returned to locations to maintain the rock,” she said.
Larson said she received phone calls and visits from property owners “along the project when they felt that access was not as it should be, and it was promptly addressed,” she said.
“The asphalt subcontractor is working on the drives now as they move along.”
As part of the four-laning, there will be three new traffic signals — at Postal Parkway, Hillwood Circle and Hospital Road, according to Larson.
While much of the mainline paving is complete, the “topping” coat of asphalt still needs to be laid down.
There is also work to be on on the median throughout the project, Larson said.
Larson said that Sunbelt has submitted a request to “shift traffic to the two outside lanes and work in the middle. No confirmed date for this work has been submitted.”
There were several contributing factors for the delay in the completion of the project, including plan revisions and erosion control issues, as well as the grading subcontractor going out of business.
The original grading company, Sanford Land Development, was replaced by McCoy Grading.