The Georgia Department of Transportation has abandoned its plans for a truck bypass of Bishop, moving the funding for the project into “long range,” according to Project Manager Bruce Anderson Jr.
GDOT made the decision because of a “lack of public consensus for the proposed alignment within Bishop,” Anderson said.
That widening will follow the existing roadway, consistent with plans presented to the public within the last year.
The four lanes of traffic at Astondale Road will then be forced to two lanes to move through Bishop and north to the Watkinsville Bypass.
“Transportation needs within Bishop will be considered in the future,” Anderson said.
Follow To September Notice
In late September, GDOT announced that was moving forward with the plans for the widening of U.S. 441 south of Bishop along the existing route.
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The announcement also said a truck bypass of Bishop was the “more appealing alternative for localized traffic in the area.”
GDOT emphasized that it was “still evaluating the design and impacts” of the truck bypass on the east side of Bishop.
Strong opposition to that bypass had been expressed by landowners, including the University of Georgia, which has its equestrian facility on Astondale Road near where the proposed bypass would run.
That September letter also said that moving the bypass further east, as had been proposed earlier, would “increase proposed project costs, right-of-way impacts, and displacements of businesses and/or residences.”
I sent Anderson an email message at 8:38 p.m. Wednesday asking him if “GDOT has abandoned the truck bypass proposal for Bishop?” Anderson is based in Statesboro.
I had just read a Facebook post from Laurel Whitmire saying her property “will remain a peaceful, calm, beautiful rural landscape.”
Whitmire’s property would have been disrupted by the route of the truck bypass.
Anderson responded at 10:46 p.m. saying “Yes that is correct Mr. Becker.”
The remainder of his email follows:
“Due to the lack of public consensus for the proposed alignment within Bishop, GDOT will not move forward with the localized bypass alignment.
“The funding for this project (0015925) has been moved to long-range and the transportation needs within Bishop will be considered in the future.
“GDOT will continue move forward with the 4-lane widening of US 441 south of Astondale Road (PI 0013613 & 0013617) to the Madison Bypass in Morgan County.”