Houston commission approves Carl Vinson Parkway widening

wcrenshaw@macon.comJune 3, 2014 

PERRY -- The widening of Carl Vinson Parkway from Elberta Road to Dunbar Road should begin soon, Houston County commissioners said Tuesday.

Commissioners awarded a $2.9 million contract to Reeves Construction to build the road. Construction is expected to begin within 60 days and will take about 18 months.

The project originally was supposed to be the third phase of Carl Vinson’s widening paid for with the 2001 special local option sales tax. However, it was abandoned for years due to lack of funding. Then the county decided it had enough money left over from the 2001 SPLOST to build it.

“This is a long time coming,” Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said.

The project will widen the road from two lanes to three, with a turn lane and sidewalk. Stalnaker said there is a wheelchair-bound resident in the area who rolls down the highway to shop at local stores because there is no sidewalk.

“It will greatly enhance the safety of that area,” he said.

Another significant aspect of the project is that it will include a traffic signal at Dunbar Road. That intersection gets severely backed up during peak hours. The county had considered putting a roundabout there, but Stalnaker said it won’t work due to the store at one corner of the intersection.

Reeves had the lowest of four bids on the project.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board unanimously rejected a request from Brian Gross for a special exception to operate a firearms business out of his home on Peach Blossom Road in Bonaire. Gross filed a lawsuit against the county over the issue after his request was tabled at the May 5 meeting.

The Board of Zoning & Appeals unanimously recommended denial, citing that retail sales are not allowed from a home. The zoning board also said Gross did not provide enough information about the business or have adequate security to protect the firearms.

Gross told the commissioners that “99.9 percent” of his sales would be online, which is allowed. He also said his security would be inspected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives before he could be granted the necessary federal firearms license to operate the business.

That argument, however, did not sway commissioners. Commissioner Jay Walker made the motion for denial, citing the same grounds as the Board of Zoning & Appeals.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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