Transportation Plan

Consultants expect to finish by end of year

by Sarah Fay Campbell

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Richard Crim looks at the maps of transportation plans while filling out a comment form at Thursday's public meeting on the county's Joint Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

The consultants working on the Joint Comprehensive Transportation Plan for Coweta County and its municipalities have identified all the projects to go into the plan, and have made changes to some projects based on public and stakeholder input. Following the final public meeting on the project list, held Thursday, they'll begin the work of putting all those projects and goals into a plan - which will include placing the projects in three phases, and matching the projects to funding sources.

Projects will be either short-term, through 2020, mid-term, through 2030, or long-range, through 2040.

There was a small turnout at Thursday's meeting, held at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. Only eight Cowetans who weren't involved in some way in the planning process participated. But those who did were enthusiastic about the planning process, and about making comments.

The final public comments will be considered when the draft plan is put together.

Rod Wilburn, project manager, said plans are to have the draft plan complete by the end of the year. It will then be presented to the Coweta County Board of Commissioners and the city councils of the participating municipalities. Documents will be put on the county's website, www.coweta. ga.us, by early December, Wilburn said. Some interim documents are already up.

There were a few changes made to the projects based on public comment, particularly some of the largest projects.

The consultants will be recommending 'corridor studies' for Hwy. 16 East, as well as Hwy. 16 West between Newnan and Carrollton and the Southwest Bypass Extension, which is considered a long-range project.

'That means they require additional study by the primary agency (the Georgia Department of Transportation) working with Coweta' and the Atlanta Regional Commission, said Wilburn.

One plan for Hwy. 16 East, the one that was originally included in the project list, was the building of a bypass road a few miles south of Hwy. 16 East. An actual four-laning through Senoia and Turin wasn't considered feasible. A lot of concerns about the Hwy. 16 plan were raised during the first round of public meetings held in Senoia.

There were also some changes made to the proposed transit projects, Wilburn said.

The plan itself, once completed, will be 150 to 200 pages. And while Wilburn said they want to make it readable, they also plan to put together a short plan summary for regular folks. 'They can read the document to see the gist of the direction of the key projects,' Wilburn said.

Julia Crim and her husband, Richard, said they are particularly interested in more bike paths and walking paths. 'We'd love to see more of it,' she said. 'To make the county more outdoor friendly. Now we've just got to make them happen.'

She found the public involvement opportunities to be great.

John Martin came out to get more information about the Bypass extension project as well as the Pine Road and U.S. 29 South intersection improvement project.



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