It was a packed house Wednesday afternoon as numerous municipal leaders gathered for a Cartersville-Bartow County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center.
Among those in attendance were Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor, Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini and Emerson Mayor Al Pallone
The joint meeting between the MPO’s policy committee and technical coordinating committee touched upon several issues, although only a few voting items were on the agenda.
The organization voted unanimously to approve an update to its fiscal year 2018 unified planning work program (UPWP) budget, among other items.
“We realized we had some budget issues that we had to deal with, to capture as much as we could out of the contract,” said Bartow County Transportation Planner Tom Sills. “So we’re having to modify the UPWP for FY 18 to capture those monies — that requires us to adopt a draft, go through a 30-day public viewing period and come back and sign off on a final version of that.”
Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson announced that Moreland Altobelli Associates had been chosen as the preferred selection to conduct a railroad crossing feasibility study, which would examine the viability of constructing a new bridge in the vicinity of downtown Cartersville.
Sills said a request for qualifications (RFQ) had gone out seeking contractors for a proposed sidewalk construction project around the Allatoona Resource Center in south Bartow, which would be financed via a local administered project (LAP) grant. A similar sidewalk project is in the works along Grassdale Road; two potential contractors have been identified, with interviews scheduled next week.
Continuing, Sills said a new round of Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) project applications will be due June 15. He said he’s already talked with officials in Emerson about “something interesting,” and noted that he’s had discussions with Commissioner Taylor about another potential TAP project elsewhere in the county.
Substantial progress, Sills said, is being made on a safety improvement project along Glade Road. “The signs are up and pending getting a sign-off from the Environmental Protection Division on the notice of intent, we can begin construction and get crews out there and start working this week or next.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) tabs the construction costs for the project, which would horizontally and vertically realign the portion of the road from Wild Flower Trail to Camp Drive, at $2.15 million.
Work continues on the first phase of Cass-White Road improvements, but Sills noted “there may yet still be an issue with trying to get the prior rights with the gas company resolved.” On the subject of the second phase of Cass-White Road improvements, Sills said “we’re in the process of getting the task order wrapped up, with some ideas in it of what it’s going to cost to get the project built.”
Sills also gave an update on the $5 million LakePoint Parkway extension project, which according to GDOT documents, is almost 70 percent complete.
“I understand there’s going to be some additional work done there,” he said. “They’re putting in some median breaks, so they’re moving ahead with that and hope to have that road completed by June.”
Sills concluded the meeting with a brief update on the long-delayed Old Alabama Road project, the last leg of which the County hopes to break up into three phases of construction totaling at least $70 million.
“We’ve got a meeting next Monday in Atlanta to see where we’re at,” he said, “to try to get that pushed forward.”