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City, county working on transportation projects

Thomson and McDuffie County officials met last week to iron out a few more details on the application for a second round of Transportation Enhancement Grant funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The first grant will revamp the downtown Thomson streetscape beginning in January. The second, if approved, will offer traffic solutions for the future city/county government complex that was approved by voters in the last sales tax proposal.

"We're going to proceed with that second round of TE grant application into the new city/county building site and design of improvements for the roadways to get in and out," said Thomson Mayor Bob Knox.

Athens-based engineering firm Chasman and Associates is handling the design for the TE grant application, but during an August government retreat, officials decided to bring in a traffic engineer to study the area and make recommendations.

Even though a downtown site for the complex hasn't been confirmed, last week's meeting was an opportunity for Thomson City Council members and county commissioners to discuss options for the grant with the traffic engineer, Abdul Amer.

"We're still trying to decide what specifically we're going to apply for. ... It's all still up in the air," said Thomson City Administrator Bob Flanders.

Mr. Amer will submit a summary of his recommendations after compiling his research with some traffic count numbers supplied by the DOT. The grant application is due in three weeks.

Despite the time crunch, the trick for officials is to not plan too hastily, Mr. Flanders said.

"We know some things that we would like to do in the grant request, but what can we do that we don't end up tearing back up five years down the road when we do these other things," he said. "So it's kind of some long-range planning as well as some short-range planning."



Web posted on Thursday, September 1, 2005











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