Gray bypass delayed, but will start soon

mstucka@macon.comJanuary 7, 2014 

Bibb County is getting another roundabout, but a long-planned Gray bypass in Jones County will be delayed some more.

That’s from the Georgia Department of Transportation’s announcement Tuesday of new construction contracts, which will pour millions of dollars into Middle Georgia transportation projects.

The biggest project in the area on the list was a 6-mile bypass of Gray, which would build a four-lane divided highway around the city. The project -- with a winning low bid of $41.4 million from E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. of Snellville -- will be on hold for about four more months.

DOT spokesman David Spear said the project is waiting on permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Those permits are routine and shouldn’t delay the Gray bypass, which is scheduled for completion in May 2017.

The bypass will begin at the intersection of Ga. 22 and Ga. 18 and move northwest, then arc toward the east and reconnect to Ga. 22. The design was finalized in 2002, and the state approved the design in 2007.

The bypass was among projects that would have been funded with a transportation sales tax, which voters rejected in nine of 12 districts across the state, including the district that included Gray and Jones County. Spear said the project now will be paid for with traditional state road funds, made up of of 80 percent from a federal motor fuel tax and 20 percent from a state motor fuel tax.

Separately, the state approved a $1.7 million contract with C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. for the Bibb County roundabout on U.S. 80 at Holley Road. The roundabout is scheduled to be completed by May 2017.

Several months ago, the state contracted out another roundabout for Thomaston Road at Lamar Road, which has a complicated five-way intersection. The circular roadways are designed to prevent the deadliest kinds of crashes.

The state also contracted out about $376,000 for pedestrian and school zone safety improvements in Crawford County and about $321,000 for similar work in Laurens County.

The state also contracted for about 15.2 miles of road resurfacing for about $2.9 million in Dooly and Houston counties. That work, scheduled to be completed by November, will run along Ga. 7 from near Interstate 75 to near Ga. 124. Reeves Construction Co. of Macon got that contract.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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