Published Friday, February 01, 2013

Talks taking place to speed up Poplar Road interchange

Editorial

One of the most needed roadbuilding project in our community is the Poplar Road interchange at Interstate 85.

It’s primarily needed because it will give quicker and easier access to the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital, which in on Poplar Road just east of the I-85. It will also improve access to Newnan and to the fast-growing east Coweta area and ease traffic somewhat on Bullsboro Drive/Highway 34 East.

The new intersection has been talked about for years. The $48 million project is on the drawing board to have right-of-way purchased in 2014 with construction to begin in mid-2016. Cost for the project is being split with $21 million coming from county impact fees and SPLOST collections. The remaining millions will come from the state and federal governments.

With that construction schedule, completion of the new interchange could still be about five years away, but there was some encouraging words this week about the possibility of speeding up the work.

County officials spoke to the Newnan Kiwanis Club on Tuesday giving club members an update on the State of the County. Among the topics was transportation projects.

Assistant County Administrator Michael Fouts outlined the construction timetable for the Poplar Road interchange and then said, “We have been meeting with all the agencies involved. We feel like this is a huge economic impact to the county. We’re trying to increase the schedule so we can move this project along.”

Those are indeed encouraging words. It’s not unusual when all parties get involved in talking about road projects of this importance that good things happen.Our county officials have a good working relationship with Georgia DOT. Hopefully, that relationship will be a plus in getting the timetable speeded up. It really could happen.

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