Transportation planner gives update on cloverleaf, RCDC projects

MPO adopts 2050 transportation plan

By JAMES SWIFT
Posted 12/31/69

Members of the Cartersville-Bartow Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Policy Committee voted unanimously to approve its 2050 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and 2020-2023 …

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Transportation planner gives update on cloverleaf, RCDC projects

MPO adopts 2050 transportation plan

Posted
Members of the Cartersville-Bartow Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Policy Committee voted unanimously to approve its 2050 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and 2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) at a public meeting last week.

“We’re at the point where we have been through the process of developing a document that we’re required as an MPO to adopt,” said MPO Transportation Planner Tom Sills. “It’s gone through the full, 30-day public comment period and we’ve addressed 99.9% of all the comments.”

The MPO Technical Coordinating Committee approved the 2050 LRTP at a meeting in January. The nearly 300-page document gives a snapshot of the County’s current transportation conditions and outlines various public needs and infrastructure objectives, complete with an “aspirational project list” containing high-priority improvements and realignments that, possibly, could be completed over the next few years.

The document does not list projects that were previously approved as part of the 2018-2021 TIP process.

The MPO’s 2020 final Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) was also unanimously approved at last week’s meeting.

“We do this every year,” Sills said. “This is our work program for what the MPO expects to get accomplished during the year, and how we allocated funds.”

The FY 20 UPWP budget comes out to $170,855.21, with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) funding representing $131,334.90 of the sum and local funds making up the remaining $32,833.72. Included in the budget is $60,000 for special studies, with analyses of the Mission Road and Tennessee Street corridors both listed as “studies in need of funding.”

Also listed in the UPWP under that heading is a possible downtown Cartersville walkability assessment and a study of the traffic impacts and pavement conditions spanning from Cass-White Road to Brown Loop Road. 

Sills wrapped up the meeting with an update on several major transportation projects throughout Bartow.

Speaking with GDOT, Sills said officials now believe the U.S. 41/U.S 411 cloverleaf interchange project is roughly 80% finished, with July targeted as the completion date.

“That’s good news for a lot of the traveling public,” Sills said. 

Sills also said that GDOT is planning a public information open house concerning a project that would reconstruct the two U.S. 41 bridges spanning over Highway 293 in Emerson. Per a public notice posted Feb. 6, that meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Emerson City Hall, at 700 Highway 293.

Sills likewise said he anticipates at least one public information open house this spring for a proposed project to bring new sidewalks to the Glade Road corridor in south Bartow, although at this point, no times, dates or locations have been finalized.

Elsewhere in the county, Sills said the bids for the long-delayed Old Alabama Road realignment project are expected to open in May. And in Euharlee, Sills said the bridge reconstruction project over the Etowah River is expected to begin in 2022. 

Sills also said he anticipates a new roundabout along Red Top Mountain Road, which is being built in conjunction with the proposed $300 million Vineyard Park mixed-use development, to come online by May.

That was news to Emerson Mayor Al Pallone. 

"They haven't talked to us," he said at last week's meeting. "Apparently, they're already doing work there."

As for the latest word on the estimated $130 million-plus Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor, Sills said GDOT is now working on a new scoping study.

A project concept report issued by GDOT last December indicates the RCDC will likely begin west of the U.S. 41/U.S. 411 interchange and end at a connector with Old Grassdale Road, located about half a mile east of Interstate 75. 

“It was scheduled to go from U.S. 41 and U.S. 411 all the way across I-75 to Cass-White,” Sills said. “Well, they terminated that corridor project at 75 … that area was under a lot of development pressure, so they felt best to pull that out and not delay the corridor project.”