Commission keeps East Fayetteville Bypass alive

Fayette Commissioner Eric Maxwell.
Fayette Commissioner Eric Maxwell.

Commissioner Maxwell against it because of possible home condemnations — 

Three local transportation improvement projects will be sent to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to request funding assistance. The Fayette County Commission on Sept. 26 approved the development of the applications.

The three projects recommended by the county’s transportation committee, for which an application is required to the ARC’s 2019 solicitation for its Transportation Improvement Program funding proposals, included the realignment of Ga. Highway 279 with Corinth Road (a part of the East Fayetteville Bypass project), the Banks Road Corridor project off Ga. Highway 85 North in Fayetteville and a number of multi-jurisdictional resurfacing projects.

Public Works Director Phil Mallon noted that the widening of Tyrone Road from Ga. Highway 54 to Dogwood Trail had been another project recommended by the transportation committee. Mallon’s recommendation was to remove it from the application to ARC due to higher estimated costs that would take the project out of the range required for federal assistance.

Commissioners agreed, voting separately on each of the three proposals.

The vote was unanimous to apply for assistance on the Banks Road and multi-jurisdictional resurfacing projects.

The vote on the Hwy. 279 realignment, as part of the East Fayetteville Bypass, was 4-1, with Commissioner Eric Maxwell opposing because the projects could result in taking several homes in the path of the realignment.

The projects are part of the ongoing transportation study that received significant public participation.

A minimum 20 percent local match will be required for projects approved by ARC for federal aid funding.

For some historical perspective, it was in 2004 that voters approved a countywide transportation SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) for projects such as the East Fayetteville Bypass (listed then as the top priority project) and the West Fayetteville Bypass (the second highest priority project).

Only the north half of the West Fayetteville Bypass was built, with commissioners deciding to forego the south side portion. Commissioners still today are addressing the East Fayetteville Bypass, which presumably would include linkage to Hwy. 279.