With a new Amazon fulfillment center set to come to Macon, plans are already in place to address the expected uptick in traffic.
The 1-million-square-foot center, officially announced Tuesday, will be located on Sardis Church and Skipper roads off Interstate 75. Amazon will lease the site from the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority.
The property for the facility, which has been used as a hay field before now, was rezoned in September for warehouse and light industrial use.
The center, expected to bring about 500 full-time jobs, will have about 1,000 parking spaces, 250 spaces for trailers and 75 spaces for future trailers. It will have about 95 doors for trucks and is expected to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A previous rezoning staff report estimated that 1,950 traffic trips are made per day on Sardis Church Road. That number could increase to 5,000 to 6,000 trips daily as the site is built out.
The completion of a recent traffic study prompted plans for a signal light to be installed at the intersection of Sardis Church and Skipper roads, with turn lanes on both roads. A planted buffer with a 4-foot-high earthen berm with shrubs and trees is also planned next to Skipper Road.
Residents in the area expressed concern about the potential truck traffic during a Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission meeting in early October.
“This is a long-standing residential area, and these residents out there do have concerns,” Commissioner Jeane Easom said at the meeting. “So as long as we are comfortable with the fact that these concerns have at least been addressed and things are modified as far as traffic and safety is concerned, you know, progress is progress.
“It’s a great opportunity for Bibb County, but we don’t need to do anything that’s going to harm those who are already here. ... I think that traffic study will hopefully show you’ve done all you can do.”
The facility is scheduled to open in late 2018.