Traffic improvements could be left up to voters

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Video by Nydia Tisdale of About Forsyth

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Traffic is not getting any better. But will relief arrive anytime soon?

That’s what Forsyth County Commissioners are going to ask voters to decide.

The board is considering a $190 million bond referendum to be on the Nov. 4 ballot. The bond would include a number of county roads and state roads within the county.

At a special meeting called July 31, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to send a formal letter to Georgia Department of Transportation officials to request a commitment to improve six state road projects.

On July 23, Forsyth County leaders met with GDOT officials, State Planning Director Toby Carr and GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden to discuss partnering to improve state routes within the county.

GDOT is likely to pledge getting additional federal funds through the Atlanta Regional Commission, said Buddy Gratton, a transportation consultant hired by the county.

The county’s share in the GDOT partnership would be up to $81 million to include:

• Widen to an additional lane from Ga. 400 from McFarland Parkway to Ga. 20 in each direction.

• Widen Ga. 400 with an additional lane from Ga. 400 to Ga. 20 to Ga. 369 in each direction.

• Widen to four lane divided highway Post Road from Ga. 9 to Kelly Mill Road, adding 5-foot sidewalks.

• Construct a continuous flow intersection at Ga. 369/Ga. 400.

• Widen to four lane divided highway at Ga. 369 from Ga. 9 (Coal Mountain Road) to Ga. 306 (Hammond’s Crossing).

• Ga. 400 McGinnis Ferry interchange, adding a northbound and southbound auxiliary lane on Ga. 400 between Windward Parkway and McFarland Parkway.

“[GDOT] will not put any pay lanes on existing lanes,” said Commission Chairman Pete Amos.

But if the county waits, Commissioner Brian Tam said, lane No. 3 on Ga. 400 will be a pay lane by 2030.

In addition to a list of projects that the county is seeking state funds to complete, there’s another list of road projects that the county wants to accomplish, Tam said.

County initiated transportation projects include Ronald Reagan extension from Majors Road to Shiloh Road and from Shiloh Road to McFarland Parkway. The combined projects would cost about $43 million

In addition, widening McGinnis Ferry Road from Sargent Road to Union Hill Road would cost the county about $18 million with an additional $18 million coming from cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek and state and federal funds.

Another transportation meeting is taking place Aug. 5 to finalize road projects and include traffic safety improvements including intersection signals, culverts, striping, signs, guardrails and sidewalks.

By Tuesday, Aug. 12, the county needs to have the final language for the voter referendum.

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