Tunnel to connect Starr’s Mill schools to Peachtree City cart path

A cart path tunnel in another part of Peachtree City. File photo.
A cart path tunnel in another part of Peachtree City. File photo.

The Fayette County Board of Education on Jan. 22 unanimously approved the granting of easement related to the coming construction of a multi-use tunnel on Redwine Road to serve the Starr’s Mill school complex.

Above, a cart path tunnel in another part of Peachtree City. File photo.

Designed to serve Peeples Elementary School, Rising Star Middle School and Starr’s Mill High School, the Fayette County-funded tunnel is likely to be installed during summer break in 2019, though there is a possibility of having the work done in summer 2018, said Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon.

The tunnel will be situated just south of the Panther Pass entrance to the school complex.

The tunnel has been in the planning stages for some time. Providing recent data, Mallon told school board members that a 2017 survey showed more than 600 golf cart trips per day at the location, with more than half the trips originating on the west side of Redwine Road and crossing at Foreston Place.

A multi-use path is currently installed on the east side of Redwine, with plans for a second path to be installed on the west side of the road near Foreston Place. It is currently unknown if the county or the school system will fund the cost of the new 600-foot path.

The project will negate the need for a crossing guard, which is not sustainable and provides assistance for brief time periods during school days, Mallon said.

The tunnel will provide a safe alternative with no vehicular traffic impacts on Redwine Road, Mallon noted.

The unanimous vote provided 65,340 sq. ft. of temporary easement for the project and 1,042 sq. ft. of permanent easement.

Once constructed, the school system will provide routine maintenance such as cleaning, painting and landscaping.

The project is being funded by the county’s 2017 SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax).