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DOT, local officials map out future transportation work

A long list and a colorful map were the center of attention Monday morning as Georgia Department of Transportation officials met with local leaders to go over State Transportation Improvement Program projects on tap in McDuffie County.

Christa McKinney, planning and programming engineer with the Tennille District of the DOT, discussed around 20 separate projects with Thomson City Administrator Bob Flanders and McDuffie County Manager Don Norton.

"I think this is very helpful. It gives you a visualization of what is going on," Mr. Flanders said of the map displaying all the projects in the county.

Some of the main project timelines and details discussed were the East and West bypasses; both phases of the Transportation Enhancement project in downtown Thomson; the widening of Georgia Highway 17 north of town, and the replacement of bridges over Big Brier Creek, Hart Creek and Big Creek some time after 2010.

Mrs. McKinney also told officials that, due to objections from the McDuffie County Commission, a project to install a median on Washington Road had been delayed. Commissioners were afraid it would negatively affect businesses near the interstate. Mr. Flanders expressed an immediate need for that project.

"If I've ever seen a place that needs a median and some control, that's it," he said.

During discussion of the West Bypass, Mr. Norton said right of way purchasing for the Three Points Interchange had been completed. Mrs. McKinney said construction is scheduled to begin on the interchange early next year.

Mr. Flanders asked that in the future, early discussions about new road location include more involvement from local officials due to problems of which the DOT may not be aware. Mrs. McKinney agreed with the idea.

"We've got our issues, but I know you've got yours. So we do need to get together," she said.

Web posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006

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