JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Forsyth County commissioners moved forward with half a dozen property condemnations Oct. 27 to satisfy widening projects for two major thoroughfares.
Four of the condemnations involved land for easements or right of way as part of the Old Atlanta Road improvement project.
The nearly $40 million project will add another lane in each direction and make grade improvements along about 5 miles of the roadway north of McGinnis Ferry Road. The road carries about 20,000 vehicles a day and is expected to draw a 70 percent greater traffic load over the next 12 years, according to the Forsyth County Transportation Department.
Commissioners also approved condemnations for two lots along the construction area for the McGinnis Ferry Road widening project. Forsyth County is partnering with the cities of Alpharetta and Johns Creek to widen the roadway to four lanes from Sargent Road in Johns Creek west to Union Hill Road in Alpharetta.
Just this summer the project cleared financial hurdles it has faced from the outset. Originally estimated at around $35 million, projections now run to just over $60 million to upgrade the stretch of highway.
Following more than a year of negotiations from all sides, each city agreed to contribute $8.9 million, and Forsyth County will contribute $23 million. The state will chip in $20 million.
Alpharetta approved the agreement July 20. Johns Creek and Forsyth County signed their agreements in August.
McGinnis Ferry provides a valuable east-west commuter corridor through North Fulton County.
Johns Creek transportation sales tax Manager Brian O’Connor said the widening is vital to improve traffic flow in the city. Johns Creek is in the crosshairs of commuter traffic from all directions, with Medlock Bridge running from Forsyth County in the north to Gwinnett County in the south. State Bridge Road, which runs east-west, carries about an equal share of commuter traffic each day.
McGinnis Ferry Road is expected to draw even more traffic with completion of a new $48 million interchange at Ga. 400. Funding for that project comes primarily through federal and state sources, but Forsyth County has earmarked $8.6 million for the interchange.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is evaluating three potential contractors for the project, with work slated to begin in 2022. Completion has been scheduled for 2026.