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Last gasp for West Fayetteville Bypass?

The informal plan for a scaled back version of the third phase of the West Fayetteville Bypass presented to the Fayette County Commission last week includes a new roundabout at the intersection of Ebenezer Church and Redwine roads and the realignment of the intersection of Ebenezer Church and Lester Road to allow traffic to flow smoothly.

The plan, however, abandons nearly all new road path that was proposed in the previously approved road alignment, including a stretch that would have reached from Redwine Road east to Harp Road. Instead, the county will improve the existing intersection of Redwine and Harp, county officials said.

The third phase will begin at Lester Road near Ga. Highway 54, ending at Harp Road and Ga. Highway 85.

County Public Works Director Phil Mallon said he did not have the capacity to design the road improvements in-house, so a consultant will be necessary to handle that work.

Mallon said there will need to be some improvements to the school zone on Lester Road, and there are also some curves on Lester that will need to be straightened out.

The total estimated cost at this point is $7 million, though that could change depending on the final design, Mallon said.

Commissioner Steve Brown said he would rather reallocate the funds for the third phase of the bypass toward other county projects.

Commission Chairman Herb Frady said if the money is redirected to other projects, it would be “squandered.” Frady said the state legislation Brown wishes to use to divert the transportation SPLOST funds from road improvements was not designed to allow such a switch “just because somebody has a whim to take money off a road because somebody doesn’t like it.”

“We’re building a road to move traffic and I think it would be foolish to move it,” Frady said.

Commissioner Robert Horgan said one of the roads he has received the most complaints about is the intersection of Harp Road and Hwy. 85. For that reason, and to provide better roads to attract more residents, Horgan said he supported construction of the third phase of the bypass.

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