A large crowd turned out at an Open House tonight (Tuesday) to review maps of the current route of U.S. 441 as it passes through Oconee County south of Watkinsville and take advantage of opportunities to give the Georgia Department of Transportation input on its proposed widening of the route.
About 50 people, including 20 representatives of GDOT and its consultants, were in the room at the Community Center in Veterans Park 10 minutes before the Open House was scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Those attending were confronted with two sets of large maps of the current route of the highway from just outside Watkinsville to just outside Madison in Morgan County.
GDOT officials emphasized that no route for the proposed four-laning of the roadway has been determined and none will be available until the summer of 2017.
At the peak of traffic about 5:20 p.m., more than 80 were in the room, looking at the maps and talking with GDOT representatives.
The official count of citizen attendees at 6:35 p.m. was 106. The Open House ended at 7.
Opportunities For Feedback
GDOT had prepared a Comment Form for those who wished to fill it out.
The four-page document asked for citizens to indicate their priorities in developing improvements for the roadway, to indicate how they would address those priorities, to state their concerns, and to provide some background information on themselves.
The comment document is available online HERE.
Attendees also could paste notes to a board or even on the maps themselves.
A second Open House is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 1 at the Morgan County High School Cafeteria, 1231 College Drive, Madison.
Citizens spent time looking at all of the maps, but many clustered around the map of Bishop.
Possible routes for the bypass of Bishop have raised concerns about the environmental and cultural impact of the highway.
The video clips assembled below give a sense of the Open House.
OCO: US441 GDOT Open House from Lee Becker on Vimeo.
Good that lots of people turned out to interact with GDOT. Whether they will listen to the farmer's concerns remains to be seen. The comment sheet is so broad that the GDOT could draw whatever conclusion they want and say it had public support.
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