Published Friday, June 12, 2009

Park, ride lot will receive stimulus aid

By Sarah Fay Campbell

The Newnan Times-Herald

Coweta County's proposed new park-and-ride lot for the Xpress Bus system will be getting $158,600 from the federal stimulus.

But it won't be for the land, which is already purchased, or the asphalt or the benches or the shelters.

The money will go toward the information technology equipment for the lot, said William Mecke, spokesman from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, which operates the Xpress Bus system.

The equipment includes changeable message signs, which will display when the next bus is scheduled, and security cameras at the lot, Mecke said.

The state has already purchased the 9.42-acre site on Hollz Parkway. It's located just off Ga. Hwy. 34 East across from the Summit.

The contract for construction of the parking lot is set to be let in November, Mecke said. The IT money for the signs and cameras will likely be spent in July 2010, and the lot itself should open in late 2010, Mecke said.

The new lot will replace the current one at Ashley Park off Bullsboro Drive and Newnan Crossing Bypass. Thomas Enterprises' Ashley Park was required by a Development of Regional Impact review to provide at least 200 park-and-ride spaces when it was developed. That requirement will remain in place, but GRTA probably won't need to take advantage of it in the future, Mecke said.

The new lot will be comparable to other park-and-ride lots that GRTA has built, Mecke said. There will be bus bays and better access for people with disabilities, as well as garbage cans, benches and shelters.

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