Among the 33 projects on the list from the Georgia Department of Transportation was the South Calhoun Bypass, which stretches from Ga. 53 at County Road 13 east to Ga. 53 at County Road 64.
“This is the infamous Union Grove Road bypass,” County Administrator Randy Dowling said; it has been on the list of projects for decades.
According to Dowling, the bypass will run from the Calhoun Auto Auction on Ga. 53 over Interstate 75 to Union Grove Road.
It will require the addition of a bridge to cross-over I-75, he said.
According to Dowling, construction for this project will be provided for by federal funds that flow through the state, and construction has been set to begin after 2014.
Out of the $400 million the board opted to spend with this vote, Gordon County will receive $583,050 from the ninth congressional district and $1,951,950 from the eleventh congressional district for the purchase and construction of right-of-ways for the project. The funding total for Gordon County from this vote will be $2,535,000.
The total cost for construction of the bypass is estimated at $61 million, Dowling said.
The project list specifically allocates this money for the constructuion of four 12-foot lanes in Gordon County beginning at Ga. 53.
“(Purchasing) the right-of-way is one thing, construction is another,” Dowling said.
“At least the project is moving forward with the state purchasing the right-of-way,” he said.
According to a release from the transportation board, the board members elected to expedite these 33 projects in order to create new jobs within the state and save existing jobs in the troubled highway construction industry.
Out of the $400 million set aside for this action, $152 million is for new capacity projects, $132 million is allocated to maintenance work and $117 million is for the acquisition of right-of-ways, the report stated.
The funds for these projects, according to the report, are being drawn from the GDOT’s fund balance reserve due to conservative spending by the GDOT throughout this economic downturn and its aggressive use in maximizing federal funds.