Politics & Government

Reichert wants Jeffersonville Road work started by 2016

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert is pushing for work to begin on Jeffersonville Road by 2016.

There are five projects, including bridge and road improvements, approved for the road, but Reichert noted during a Macon Area Transportation Study board meeting Wednesday that Jeffersonville Road upgrades have been discussed for the past 20 years, with little progress.

The latest hurdle officials have had to clear is an environmental study for the proposed work. Now that the study is complete, officials are in the process of acquiring the rights of way necessary to begin work.

“It took forever to get the environmental report,” Reich­ert said. “The problem is, this was originally designed 20 years ago. There have been a lot of changes to the area since then. We need to speed up the right-of-way process and do the final design so we can start in August of 2016.”

In other business, Payne City’s decision to dissolve its charter and join the Macon-Bibb County consolidated government is leading to a change in the MATS bylaws.

Payne City’s dissolution means the loss of a voting member on the board, leaving the board with 12 members.

After discussion of potential replacements, Reichert suggested that the chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority be added as a voting member. Officials must formally advertise the change and meet again before any decision becomes final.

Officials also discussed revising plans to widen the next portion of Forest Hill Road. Because Northwest Parkway and Vineville Avenue were removed from the plan last year, Macon-Bibb County engineer David Fortson told the board the plans for Phase 2 of the Forest Hill Road project, from Forsyth Road to Wimbish Road, would be scaled down somewhat. Fortson said he was in the process of hiring an engineer to revise the initial plan’s concept.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.