The Georgia Department of Transportation has developed an alternate plan for improvements to U.S. 441 that involves a close-in truck bypass on the east side of the City of Bishop.
Officials from GDOT presented the broad outlines of the plan to the City Council of Bishop on Monday night, where it got at least some support.
The truck bypass would take some land from the University of Georgia Equestrian Complex and pass very close to two houses on Old Bishop Road, possibly necessitating the purchase of those two properties, the officials said.
The truck bypass–which could be one or two lanes wide in each direction–would connect to a four-laned U.S. 441 at Astondale Road and High Shoals Road with roundabouts.
Albert V. Shelby III, state program delivery engineer, who did much of the talking at the meeting on Monday, said the plan presented was a “conceptualization” and that much of the detail still needs to be worked out.
|Plan Shown On Video At Bishop Council Meeting 3/12/2018|
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Shelby said that the plans were offered in response to opposition by Bishop officials to routing all of the U.S. 441 traffic directly through the small city.
He said there are no plans being considered for any other bypass of Bishop.
The plan for a more eastern route has been rejected because of opposition from landowners and costs, Shelby said.
Reaction Of Council
“I like this a whole lot better than the first thing that I saw,” Bishop Mayor Johnny Pritchett said. He had been opposed strongly to allowing traffic flow through the city without any type of bypass for trucks.
“I’m willing to see how it works,” Pritchett said.
Pritchett said he remains skeptical about the use of roundabouts, saying that local people have no experience with them and that he doubts they can accommodate trucks.
Shelby assured those present that roundabouts do work, that they are effective in slowing traffic, and that trucks can use them without problems.
The route of the bypass would leave the existing U.S. 441 on the south side of Bishop at Astondale Road.
The route would follow Astondale Road to the east of Bishop before turning north and running on the western edge of the University of Georgia Equestrian Complex.
It would cross Old Bishop Road and then turn west to intersect with the existing U.S. 441 at High Shoals Road.
Traffic would be restricted to 45-miles-per-hour on the truck route and to 25 miles-per-hour on the existing route through Bishop.
The video of the meeting is below.
I shot the video from the back of the room using a camera on a walking stick rather than a tripod because of space limitations.
The sound in the video also picks up a lot of reverberations.