The state has signed off on a $53.3 million construction contract to widen and extend Sardis Church Road from near Interstate 75 to Ga. 247.
The changes will provide better road access along southern Bibb County and could set the stage for further transportation changes.
The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that the winning bid was made by C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. of Marietta, which plans to complete the work by May 2019. The state said the work will involve building five bridges and installing television monitoring systems.
The Sardis Church Road effort will begin with a rebuilding and a widening, to four lanes, from Skipper Road to Goodall Mill Road, according to a map from the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission. That ties in to the nearby, and relatively new, interchange on Interstate 75.
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From there, the extension would move away from the current Sardis Church Road, crossing Houston Road near Nob Hill Drive and crossing U.S. 41/Industrial Highway south of the industrial parks. It would then tie into Avondale Mill Road at the curve near the end of the main Middle Georgia Regional Airport Runway and end at Ga. 247, which would get a new interchange to handle expected heavy traffic in the afternoons, the Georgia Department of Transportation said in a project description.
The work potentially affects several other transportation proposals. Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert has proposed connecting the Sardis Church Road extension to Interstate 16 in Twiggs County, with a bridge over the Ocmulgee River. Such a project would be costly.
Reichert also was among the advocates of a runway lengthening at Middle Georgia Regional Airport. The 6,500-foot runway now ends on a hill above Avondale Mill Road, which is becoming part of the Sardis Church Road extension. A lengthening of the runway would require a tunnel be built for the road as the runway is extended overhead, adding to the cost. Money for a lengthening was to have been included in a regional transportation sales tax, which voters rejected in July 2012.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.