The Daniells Bridge Road flyover of SR Loop 10 has been reduced from four-lanes to two-lanes in the Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program document on the agenda for approval tomorrow morning.
The document also has been altered to list the widening of Daniells Bridge to three-lanes all the way from Hog Mountain Road to the Oconee Connector, rather than just to Chestnut Hill Road.
Sherry McDuffie, a transportation planner with MACORTS, told me earlier today that the changes were made at the request of Oconee County and Georgia Department of Transportation officials prior to the meeting of the MACORTS Policy Committee at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
|Bill Ross Supports Flyover|
The changes in plans were incorporated into documents displayed by MACORTS as part of a public hearing tonight at the Community Center in Veterans Park.
The reduction of the size of the flyover also was discussed in a meeting tonight of the Oconee County Citizen Advisory Committee on Land Use and Transportation Planning.
Emil Beshara, director of Public Works for the county, said he had not been consulted about the change in the size of the flyover and that a two-lane road would not handle the volume of traffic projected for the roadway in 2030.
Citizens Turned Out
Sixteen people turned out for the MACORTS public hearing, which McDuffie said was a large number for such an event.
Many of those were concerned about the Daniells Bridge Road Extension, which would include a flyover to the stub of the Oconee Connector at Home Depot.
Ten citizens attended the Land Use Committee meeting, which followed in the same room, with several voicing opposition to the project and others speaking in favor.
Tom Kittle, 2030 Daniells Bridge Road, whose property is likely to be dissected by the project, said he wants it to go forward so he can move away from the area to a quieter place without road noise. His property now backs up on SR Loop 10.
Kittle said he had a petition with 229 signatures of people who agree that it is time to build the flyover.
Bill Ross, president of Evergreen Nursery Inc, on Dials Mill Road, owns 62 acres across from Home Depot that would be made more accessible with the flyover. He spoke in favor of the project as well.
Opponents Question Timing
The Georgia Department of Transportation in July sent Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis project framework agreements for the widening of Daniells Bridge Road, the Daniells Bridge Road Extension, and the widening of Jimmy Daniell Road.
Davis initially told the four voting Commissioners he was prepared to move forward with the projects, but he subsequently said he was surprised to receive them.
GDOT officials have refused to say who was involved in making the decision to send the county the project framework agreements on the three projects but have indicated that they usually respond to requests from the county.
Former Oconee County Commissioner Chuck Horton told the Land Use Committee tonight that it should try to find out why these projects came forward without knowledge by the four voting commissioners or even by Public Works Director Beshara
John English, 1141 Beverly Drive, questioned why the project had come forward even though it had been opposed by residents in the area in the past.
Davis On Policy Committee
The MACORTS Policy Committee will meet at 10 a.m. in Courthouse in Watkinsville to approve the 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program documents.
BOC Chairman Davis and Bob Sanders, a member of the Land Use and Transportation Planning Committee, represent the county on the Policy Committee.
The Policy Committee, Beshara told the Land Use Committee tonight, really determines how projects are formulated in MACORTS documents, which then shape the response of GDOT.
The Land Use Committee was asked by the BOC last month to review transportation projects on the MACORTS lists in light of the project framework agreements sent forth by the state.
That review was not specifically listed on the agenda for the meeting tonight, but the comments of citizens and then the questions by Committee members about the Daniells Bridge Road Extension consumed the entire hour-long meeting.
"Emil Beshara, director of Public Works for the county, said he had not been consulted.."
But I guarantee Jamie Bowswell was!
Melvin Davis is completely out of control, and the actions he's taking now will have serious repurcussions for the county for the next 0-30 years.
"Tom Kittle, 2030 Daniells Bridge Road, whose property is likely to be dissected by the project, said he wants it to go forward so he can move away from the area to a quieter place without road noise. His property now backs up on SR Loop 10."
I believe Tom Kittle is welcome to move somewhere "quieter and without road noise" regardless of the outcome of this project which would certainly create more road noise for his neighbors.
"Half-measures avail us nothing."
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