As Walton County’s population expands and places an increased burden on local roads, the county and its cities have been dealing with more and more complaints about traffic. One of the biggest complaints in the Monroe area is the intersection of Ga. 10 business (West Spring Street) as it intersection with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (State Route 138). But that is finally being addressed, at least in part. Motorists going through the intersection will notice that the trees in the median have been removed and replaced with drums as the work has begun.
A partnership between local jurisdictions and Georgia Department of Transportation on a number of projects on state roads is in the process of being implemented, beginning with that intersection. The Georgia DOT has begun work on extending the left turn lane on W. Spring Street at the MLK Jr. Blvd (SR 138) intersection.
“This extended turn lane will be the first phase of a multi-phase project to alleviate traffic along West Spring St. Later this summer work will move to a signal upgrade project at the intersection,” the City of Monroe reported on its Facebook page, adding that GDOT is not expecting the work to require any lane closures. The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 25, 2019. With more than 18,000 cars coming through the intersection each day, this intersection was a priority. GDOT is expected to add westbound thru-lanes and other improvements to prevent traffic from backing up too much on West Spring Street. The next project scheduled will be an additional thru-lane towards the Home Depot area.
This is one of the projects on the GDOT Quick Response projects listed for the 2019 Special Local Option Sales Tax renewal referendum that passed in November 2018. In a 2 to 1 split between the local jurisdictions and GDOT, $890,000 was allocated for intersection improvements at this intersection.
After the Transporation Special Local Option Sales Tax failed in 2012, and many of the traffic issues were not addressed by GDOT, local leaders got together and decided that traffic would need to be a major focus of the 2019 SPLOST.
“GDOT has committed to prioritizing ‘cost sharing’ projects with local governments to address common state and local transportation priorities,” Jimmy Parker, vice president of Precision Planning Inc. who provides engineering services for Walton County, said in an article by Robbie Schwartz on roads in Walton County for the last issue of Walton Living Magazine. “The primary challenge for Walton County in resolving current congestion, capacity and traffic safety issues is available funding. Through this strategic partnership between Walton County, each municipality and the voters of Walton County who approved the recent SPLOST referendum, Walton County will be able to direct $17.1 million to implement each of the critical Tier 1 projects over the next six to seven years. These local SPLOST funds should also allow Walton County to leverage an additional $15 million to $20 million in available state and federal funding to expedite each of these projects.”
Click or tap on this link for the full story by Robbie Schwartz on the future of Walton County’s Roads. This addresses the other projects Walton County and its cities hope to address with the 2019 SPLOST.