Long-awaited Monroe by-pass gets the green light

by chris bridges - the walton tribune

Officials expect it to be open by July 1, 2025

Monroe Mayor John Howard. Photo credit: Darrell Everidge

When John Howard first read about the possibility of a bypass for downtown Monroe, the mayor was a senior at George Walton Academy.

That was in the late 80s. 

Now in 2023, the city has finally received the long-awaited green light from the Georgia Department of Transportation to begin work on the project.

“GDOT gave us the news waiting period is over,” Howard said Monday. “I think you will start seeing work as early as next week. We are still waiting on official word on that.”

The mayor estimated vehicles will be using the by-pass by July 1, 2025.

“A lot of people thought this would never happen,” Howard said. “I knew it would happen sooner or later. I’m not sure I thought it would be 30 something years later. This will be one of several projects that is going to benefit Monroe’s traffic safety.”

With numerous events now being held in the downtown Monroe Area, the by-pass will help when city officials have to close streets.

“It will be an awesome thing,” Howard said. “It will give us a chance to close down streets between Highland and Washington or even Church on a regular basis so it can be used as a walking area during weekend. Now it turns into a bit of havoc when that road is closed. We just don’t have alternate routes.”

The mayor, along with City of Monroe administrator Logan Propes, went to Atlanta and met with a team from the DOT and learned there will be multiple road projects for the area.

“The truck route is a two-year project,” Howard said. “It’s easier to do a new project once it starts. It’s not easy to get off the ground, but it’s not like working on something already there. We are just thrilled. One thing that keeps me up at night is the safety of our downtown corridor. With so much foot traffic downtown, the worry of some child trying to run across the road is extremely bothersome. We always want to put safety first. This will enhance the safety of our downtown tenfold. It’s a great day for Monroe.”

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