Brown: East Fayette Bypass needed to ease F’ville traffic


    The East Fayetteville Bypass may be coming closer to reality … and some might consider it a necessity, with the state’s plans to widen Ga. Highway 54 east of Fayetteville into Jonesboro and also McDonough Road from Hwy. 54 in Fayetteville into Lovejoy planned to be built in the next 15 years.

    The Atlanta Regional Commission has programmed $7 million in federal money to be spent in 2017 for construction of the first phase of the bypass. That phase would reach from south Jeff Davis Drive along County Line Road and up through newly-purchased golf course land to reach Ga. Highway 54 at Corinth Road.

    The second phase, stretching from that terminus along Corinth Road to reach Ga. Highway 85 north of the Fayette Pavilion, is not anticipated for construction until at least 2020, if not later.

    County Commission Chairman Steve Brown, who is the county’s representative on the Atlanta Regional Commission, said the commission may decide to build the road without federal funds because of all the costly and time-sapping requirements that are attached to such federal aid.

    “We know there will be more traffic coming into our county, the migration of commuter traffic,” Brown said. “You try to say: ‘How much of that can you take off line as possible?’”

    The idea is to get as many of those cars and trucks off the highway system to avoid coming through Fayetteville.

    “We have a lot of historic structures, we have a massive church in the median, we’ve got a brand-new bank in the median,” Brown said. “You are extremely handcuffed.”

    The east bypass “is not a perfect plan,” Brown said, but it would help get Clayton residents up to Ga. Highway 279, for example, without having to go through downtown Fayetteville, Brown said.

    While the county commission has not yet voted to proceed with construction of the East Fayetteville Bypass, two months ago it approved spending $1.4 million to acquire the former Links golf course because the path was needed to create a direct route to the Hwy. 54/Corinth Road intersection.

    Brown acknowledged that another significant consideration is the need for improvements at the interchange of Ga. Highway 74 and Interstate 85 in Fairburn, which “half of our traffic goes through.”

    Construction of the interchange improvements remains in the “2020 to 2030” long-range goal under the ARC’s most recent transportation prioritization document.