DOT: McDonough Road widening can wait 20 years

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Fayette County Commissioner Charles Oddo. File photo.
Fayette County Commissioner Charles Oddo. File photo.

Fayette Commission to send letter to DOT detailing concerns

The project that would lead to the widening of McDonough Road has been put on hold until 2038. In response, the Fayette County Commission voted June 14 to draft a letter to the Ga. Department of Transportation (DOT) citing concerns about the project.

Commissioner Steve Brown has long been opposed to the widening project, citing the increased traffic that would be dumped into Fayetteville from counties to the east, and maintaining that the project funds would be better utilized on projects such as the interchange at Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 74.

The item introduced by Brown, to cease the widening project, was tabled at the May 10 commission meeting.

Meantime, the county Transportation Committee recommended moving forward with the project.

During the discussion, Commissioner Randy Ognio said the county received a recent letter from DOT pushing the project out to fiscal year 2038.

“We don’t know why they pushed it out,” said Ognio, noting the county’s potential to forward a resolution and a funding commitment to DOT. “The way they did it was kind of strange. I don’t know what the reasoning was.”

The failure to act would mean the project is dead until 2038, said Commissioner Chuck Oddo.

“Doing a resolution of support (for the project) tells DOT we want to talk about it,” said Oddo.

Brown cited the years-long McDonough Road widening project, noting that DOT has been less than forthcoming in resolving the issues associated with the project.

Oddo soon made a motion to accept the Transportation Committee’s recommendation to issue a resolution with the board’s concerns and begin talks with DOT. That motion failed on a 2-3 vote, with only Ognio and Oddo in favor.

A second motion by Commissioner Charles Rousseau soon followed. That motion will have county staff draft a letter to DOT, including the thoughts of the commission, indicating the board’s concerns and without any funding attached. The motion passed by unanimous vote.