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$7.9 million voted to fix Hood Ave./Ga. 92 junction with Hwy. 85

A $7.9 million plan to improve traffic at the intersection of Ga. highways 85 and 92, and also Hood Avenue, in Fayetteville will be funded with money from Fayette County’s 2004 transportation sales tax.

The Fayette County Commission is expected to formally approve funding the project at its meeting Thursday night at 7 p.m.

The plan calls for moving the current traffic light at Hwys. 85 and 92 southward on Hwy. 85 to serve the current Hood Avenue. To the west, a roundabout will be built that will allow Hwy. 92 to be realigned to the existing Hood Avenue interchange at the new location for the light.

The new Hwy. 92 would then cross Hwy. 85 at the light and continue eastward in a path that will go over some existing stores at the Hudson Plaza shopping center, linking up with Kathi Avenue to provide access to north Jeff Davis Drive.

Among the stores that would be displaced are Rocky’s Barber Shop, Papa John’s, Play it Again Sports and a mainstay eatery in Fayetteville: the Golden Chopsticks Chinese restaurant.

Because it will alleviate safety concerns at the now-unsignalized intersection of Hood Ave. and Hwy. 85, the project is touted as a big win for Hood Avenue and Fayetteville Intermediate elementary schools, as well as Fayette County High School, all of which rely heavily on Hood Avenue.

The Hood Ave./Hwy. 85 intersection has been the site of a number of accidents, city officials have said.

According to city officials, property owners are in agreement with the project, including Hudson Plaza owner Bill Bonner, who attended last week’s meeting of the Fayette County Commission where the project was discussed.

County Commissioner Eric Maxwell said his only hesitation on the project was that he hadn’t gotten any negative feedback about the proposal, which will also require property from four homes west of Hwy. 85, three of which are renter-occupied.

“I’m just leery of jumping in with both feet, but if nobody tells me no,” Maxwell said. “I’m convinced something needs to be done at this intersection.”

Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele also noted that the city’s policy is to avoid condemnation proceedings and instead negotiate with property owners to acquire the land.

“We have found it very appropriate to deal with property owners in mutual agreement moving forward, and that’s what we’re hopeful of doing with this,” Steele said.

Steele also noted that the project has been publicized in the newspaper and the city has included the intersection in its planning review process.

“We’ve had extensive news coverage with pictures and everything, and I personally have had zero negative comments on it,” Steele said.

There was an alternate route proposed for the road section leading eastward of Hwy. 85, leading it through the Michael’s store at Hudson Plaza. Fayetteville City Manager Joe Morton said that would cost an extra $2-3 million, however.

That alternate path, referred to as “option B” would “pretty much nuke that shopping center,” Fayetteville City Manager Morton said.

In conjunction with the request, Fayetteville officials agreed to cancel the extension of LaFayette Avenue onto the eastern side of Hwy. 85 and a proposed traffic signal at that intersection. That would allow the $611,000 cost to be carried over to the Hood Ave./Hwy. 85/Hwy. 92 intersection project.



Wow! 7.9 million? Total overkill. Makes you wonder who all has hands in the county's Public Works project bowl.

ginga1414's picture

Ken Steele said, "We have found it very appropriate to deal with property owners in mutual agreement moving forward, and that's what we're hopeful of doing with this." Well, I guess so. We certainly wouldn't want any of those pesky property owners to object to the City wanting their property; now, would we? If they did object, then the City would have to condemn the property and they would wind up having to pay the property owners more for their property than the City would want to pay. After all, the County Commissioners have already paid $430,000 for ONE (just 1) high end, well maintained home on Lee's Mill Rd. so that they can run the West Bypass through those neighborhoods.

Why oh why is Eric Maxwell "leery of jumping in with both feet?" Voters objecting to the West Fayetteville Bypass never caused him to pause for one second. The West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition has been objecting for almost three years. According to Eric, Jack, Lee, Herb and Robert, Fayetteville is where the traffic is and they are just trying to help poor old Fayetteville with their traffic problems. So WHY would Eric be "leery?" Doesn't make much sense to me. WHY would Eric agree to giving the City more SPLOST money, if he is "leery" about no objections?

Are they also "leery" of nuking the shopping center? I wouldn't think so. After all, it is more than clear that the "Plan" says, "nuke that shopping center." It's part of the "revitalization plan" for Fayetteville.

Have no fear. Even if they do "nuke that shopping center," they will just replace it with another one somewhere along the West Bypass route.

It just doesn't seem logical though to "nuke" a viable shopping center that brings in taxes during a bad economy. Woo, I've got the answer. Ken Steele plans to incorporate the hospital/Bypass area into the City. That will replace those taxes lost to the nukification of Hudson Plaza.

You see, where there is a "Plan," there is a way. And, we all know that the Atlanta Regional Commission has a "Plan" for everything and everybody. All roads and roundabouts lead to the Atlanta Regional Commission! Isn't that right, Ken?

highflyer2's picture

The next time you pull onto an interstate and are headed to Florida or up north (God forbid) somewhere,stop and think how many people lost their land and homes to make that interstate possible. How many people REALLY think of that as we are zooming down the interstate?
I propose that for a solid year WE ALL boycott the expressways and travel the back streets as it was before the "progress". COME ON PEOPLE! This is our time to shine!
Who's with me?

ginga1414's picture

As one citizen put it tonight at the last Commission Meeting of the year, "Eric Maxwell is a two faced jerk."

What prompted that statement?

In the article above, Mr. Maxwell spoke of being "leery" concerning the approval of SPLOST funds to support the Hwy. 92/Hood Ave./Hwy.85 roundabout because there had not been any opposition to the project. However, during tonight's last commission meeting and for the last 3 years there was not tonight and there has not been anyone in favor of the West Fayetteville Bypass. Commissioner Maxwell was voted out of office because of his support of building the West Bypass. Even with all of that negativity, Maxwell is still in favor of the West Bypass.

Our commissioners dropped the axe on Phase III tonight and many left in tears because their homes will be taken. I'm talking about beautiful Redwine Rd. homes. This bunch of commissioners won't stop until they have completely destroyed Fayette County. Maxwell and Smith lost their seats on the Board, but Frady, Hearn and Horgan are bound to keep the legacy going.

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