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PTC wants businesses involved in opening Hwy. 54 cart bridge over railroad

Perhaps as early as next week, Peachtree City officials will host a grand opening event for the cart path bridge spanning the CSX railroad tracks along Ga. Highway 54 west.

The date has not been finalized though the project is nearing completion. But in the anticipation of the opening, the city is hoping to encourage local merchants in the area to take advantage of the special occasion.

Last week the city council voted to waive the usual $25 special event fee normally assessed on businesses who want to conduct a sidewalk sale or similar promotion such as a garden sale. The permit allows businesses to use special banners, tents, portable signs and inflatable play areas.

Businesses are allowed to have no more than four such special events each year, but council agreed that any special events held in conjunction with the bridge opening would not count against that limit.

The city’s encouragement of businesses for the grand opening is a natural since the bridge and tunnels underneath the highway provide a way for residents to travel between The Avenue, Marketplace and McIntosh Village shopping centers.

The installation of the approach paths between the bridge and tunnels are complete, but a few minor additions must take place before the grand opening can be scheduled, city officials said. Some areas will require guardrails for safety and the shoulder grading must also be finished, said City Engineer David Borkowski.

The project’s completion has been a long time in coming. It has been more than three years since the bridge was installed during part of the widening of Hwy. 54 in the area.

The Georgia Department of Transportation also built two tunnels under the road in conjunction with the widening project.

A significant part of the delay was chalked up to the length of time it took DOT to evaluate the city’s air quality impact study, which is ironic since the only emissions that might be tied to the path would come from the use of gas-powered golf carts, which are far outnumbered by electric carts.

The project also lacked continuity because the grant for the path installation was a separate project from the road widening, officials said.

The city got DOT approval to proceed with path construction and awarded a bid the end of November, but rains in the area have slowed the path construction significantly and pushed the project several weeks past its estimated completion date.

The contractor on the project is Lewallen Construction Company Inc. of Marietta. Of the total $157,490 cost, the city has to chip in $31,498 as its 20 percent matching grant, with the rest coming from the DOT grant.

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Comments

"A significant part of the delay was chalked up to the length of time it took DOT bureaucratic morons to evaluate the city's air quality impact study, which consisted of 20 DOT doofusses, who are paid hourly, to stand on the railroad tracks below and hold their breath for hours at a time.

When they finally exhaled, the gas that was emitted actually caused the DOT morons to pass out and lose track of where they were and what the ?!@# they were sent there for in the first place. Then, the head doofus had to go back to the office in Atlanta and read up on what it was they were there for and had to come back numerous times to have them repeat the above mentioned study.

After over half of the doofusses were run over by trains in the middle of the night (when John Munford was asleep), a newly appointed head doofus was brought in to check out the actual gasses emitted, to see if they fell within the govt. guidleines for passed gas.

Sure enough, the finding validated what 36 thousand people who live here already knew. Gas will come and gas will go, but our carts will be here forever.

So now, my friends, you have the rest of the story. Good Day! (miss 'ya Paul Harvey)

mudcat's picture

and you are trying to take his place? Good try, but it makes too much sense to be an actual bonkerism. You have to convince the reader you are completely insane in the first two lines to live up to his high err, low, standard.

I think not.
Mudcat, glad I passed the INcomplete insanity test for you. Please let me know when I've gone to the complete stage, as I probably won't realize it when and if it happens.

Bonkers, I hope you are at the front of the line when the ribbon is cut.

I want to see the backup as you come out of the tunnel at Books A Million and have to wait to play dodge em cars to cross over the car traffic line (waiting at the light leaving The Avenue onto 54) to get into The Avenue parking lot. The holidays should be adventure filled. Maybe we can call the DOT back then to take more air quality studies of those gas emitting electric carts waiting in line.

Well you see Mud doesn't want anyone here who knows more than she-it-him!
No Independents or Demos either. (afraid they will be contaminated)(kinda like the catholics right now---they don't want to hear about the Fathers)
Your instruction sound as if you want me run over. I won't be there anyway due to your terrible road instructions.

terrible road instructions? What?
I don't want you or anyone run over.

I completely agree with GOIL and the evaluation of the inspectors and those who approved the study.
However, I thought the delay was right of way problems that weren't solved before bridge was built---but what do I know? Didn't Books-A-Million want a fortune for their 20 SF or something?
I look forward to seeing all those carts mingling with the traffic on the west side of the bridge!

Now, tell me this. Do those carts pass more gas going over that bridge than they would have elsewhere without the bridge? Don't they pass the same amount of gas everywhere they are? (Not the driver or passengers, the cart, gas one) Maybe if they ate at El Beanos!

Did thousands of people buy gas carts who intend to just drive back and forth over that bridge?

Didn't we at one time grandfather gas carts but no more could be bought here? Or was that repealed for some reason?

Where will these merchant tents and tables be? On the bridge, maybe? Will there be parking?

They keep getting funnier.

What did I miss? :)

but not all of it. He's still responsible for part of it.:)

x

PTC Observer's picture

Why in the world would city officials want to draw attention their past incompetence?

Wait a minute!

I get it!

They are still incompetent!

for the delays. Not any Mayor, past or present, not any Council member either. Sorry, the locals get a pass on this debacle. It's been on the drawing board since day one, and the GDOT chose to ignore that.

PTC Observer's picture

And who should shepherd it through the labyrinth of bureaucratic entities?

Who exactly should be representing our interests in PTC?

Did they foresee the path to a speedy implementation?

We should simply let it go to chance?

Or do we hold our city fathers responsibile for putting it on the drawing board in the first place?

They don't get a pass from me, they are just as incompetent as all the rest of them.

A total waste of time and money for three years.

in this very paper about the GDOT making changes, deciding if our carts were heavy polluters, etc.....maybe you didn't see any of them.

I don't recall seeing any articles stating what the City had done wrong. Maybe I didn't see them.

Regardless, hopefully they are ready to get it open now, and all entities responsible for the delays learned something.

Don Haddix's picture

GDOT did make changes after assuming the project. Lowering the bridge killed our first EPA permit and resulted in the concern over gas powered carts, etc.

It saved PTC over $200,000.00 but cost a lot of time. Especially when there was most of a year when GDOT froze the funding and were not sure they would give it back.

The takeover and changes occurred before I came on Council. So, I am not making excuses for myself here. I inherited the issue in 2008.

It should be open for use as soon as the rest of the guard rail come in and is installed. Ribbon cutting is tentatively scheduled for May 2.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Steve Brown's picture

GDOT got the 17th street bridge and the Atlantic Steel site (a massive brown field) going after two years. There was no excuse for allowing this project to linger on for four years. The "leadership" from the city was seriously lacking. The same problem existed when the "leadership" just sat and watched CSX build a rail spur 50-feet from a new subdivision. Someone has got to get up and get things moving, or it simply will not get done.

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