Houston approves small but important road projects

wcrenshaw@macon.comMay 6, 2014 

PERRY -- The Houston County Commission on Tuesday approved two road projects that look minor on paper but are actually a big deal, according to the board chairman.

The board approved contracts to complete the paving of Toomer Road and to design a right turn lane on Old Hawkinsville Road where it connects with Ga. 247 south of Robins Air Force Base.

The Old Hawkinsville Road project is probably the most significant because many base employees use the road get to and from work.

Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker explained that in the morning when those motorists are trying to turn right to get to the base, they are often held up by someone trying to turn left. The left turn is difficult because the traffic is heavy at that time of day.

The turn lane would allow the base workers room to make the right turn when someone is waiting to turn left.

The county awarded a contract of $8,000 to Saunders Engineering Consultants of Centerville to design the project, which is funded by the 2012 special purpose local option sales tax. Stalnaker said construction will likely begin sometime later in the year.

“This will be a great project once it’s completed,” Stalnaker said. “It’s greatly needed.”

Stalnaker said the county asked the Georgia Department of Transportation three years ago to put a traffic light at the intersection. The request was turned down, however, because DOT determined it wasn’t necessary.

The county also approved a contract of $88,481 with Reeves Construction to complete the paving of Toomer Road. That money comes from the 2006 SPLOST. The paving would span from Orchard Road to the county line.

Stalnaker said that project is important because it gives residents of the area another paved road out. In the past, storms have washed out other roads, leaving Toomer, a dirt road, the only way out.

Also at the meeting, the board approved an exception for a home business that was previously rejected. The original request led the board to change a section of the ordinance that was cited as the reason for rejecting it.

This time, the board voted unanimously to approve the request by Shawn Smith. Smith came to the board in February with the request to operate an Internet business out of his home in which he would sell after-market Jeep products.

The products would be shipped directly from the maker to the customer, but that violated the previous ordinance, which stated items could be sold from a home only if those items had been made or manufactured at the home.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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