Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gwinnett Commissioners to Accept Stimulus Funds

Work will begin soon on several “shovel-ready” transportation projects in Gwinnett after commissioners on Tuesday took actions required to receive about $38 million in federal stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

One project will extend McGinnis Ferry Road from its current end at Satellite Boulevard over I-85 and across Old Peachtree Road to a new junction with Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. The bridge over I-85 has been designed to be long enough and wide enough to accommodate potential future ramps accessing the interstate. The project will also extend North Brook Parkway to Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, completing a four-lane road parallel to I-85 that begins as Shackleford Road at Beaver Ruin Road.

Another project will build a new, four-lane bridge on Gravel Springs Road (State Route 324) over I-85 near Mall of Georgia. The County recently completed road widening there from SR 20 to SR124. The project will also relocate Camp Branch Road and Morgan Road away from I-85 to improve access to and from SR 324 at both roads. Similar to the McGinnis Ferry Road project, the SR 324 design includes a bridge over I-85 that will accommodate potential future ramps to allow interstate access.

The Board’s actions on the McGinnis Ferry Road project included approval of condemnation proceedings for 25 parcels of land. Along with approximately 50 other parcels the County is currently purchasing, this action allows the County to certify to the Georgia DOT that all of the land needed to build the project has been obtained. Additionally, an agreement with Jackson Electric Membership Cooperative will allow them to proceed with moving their facilities as needed.

Commissioners approved a separate agreement with the state transportation department to allow the County to complete right-of-way acquisition for the SR 324 project and agreed to condemnation proceedings for 10 parcels and a purchase and sale agreement for another parcel. These actions, together with the acquisition of 18 other parcels of land, will allow the County to certify that all of the land needed to construct the project has been obtained.

The Board also approved work resulting from a value engineering study of the SR 324 project from its designer, Gresham Smith Associates. The $55,000 in design changes is expected to reduce construction costs by about $550,000.
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