Georgia DOT held a virtual open house about widening state route 155 in late 2022. The state recently published their response to residents’ comments.
The open house had 811 online views. The state received 75 comments about the widening SR 155 project. 55 comments were in support of the project, one was uncommitted and fifteen offered conditional support. There were four comments in opposition.
About the Project
The state route 155 widening project extends between I-75 and US 23 / GA 42. This measures 1.6 miles in length. The proposed project will expand the roadway from its current two lanes to four lanes. A center median would divide the roadway. The project will also build a new sidewalk. Engineering work began in 2016 for the project.
As of March 2023, construction funding is in fiscal year 2027. This represents the start date to build the project. Right of way acquisition would take place beginning in 2024. Total project costs are estimated at $50 million dollars.
State Response – Widening 155 Comments
The state DOT provided their response to open house comments in February 2023. Excerpts from their response have been provided below. MHF News made edits to comments for clarity and length.
The state received comments requesting additional improvements at other intersections and interchanges, and along adjacent roads.
Response: The Georgia DOT appreciates the public’s suggestions for potential roadway improvements. Presently, there are other projects being considered or programmed along SR 155 and on adjacent or intersecting routes. One of these projects proposes to widen SR 155 from I-75 to Hampton-Locust Grove Road. In addition, there are plans for a new I-75 interchange intended to improve freight access between exits 218 and 212. Such project will be at Bethlehem Road.
The state received a comment requesting clarification about the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge replacement.
Response: The project plans to replace and raise the existing bridge over the Norfolk Southern railroad to allow for additional clearance over the railroad. The replacement bridge would maintain traffic during construction to minimize the length of time needed for off-site detours.
The state received multiple comments questioning if the proposed project will adequately address traffic issues in the area and requesting extension of the begin and/or end points of the referenced project.
Response: Georgia DOT planners and other officials use traffic count data to make informed decisions about the planning and design of new roads, upgrades to existing roads, and routing traffic such as truck routes. Local, state, and federal entities routinely study vehicle movements and use traffic count data to identify peak hours of travel and roadway level of service. The state then uses this data to evaluate road widening, operation improvement, and traffic control needs. In the case of SR 155, the traffic analysis determined a need to reduce congestion, enhance mobility, improve crash rates, and accommodate existing and future traffic volumes.
The proposed southern end point of the project is at the SR 155 and I-75 interchange. The proposed northern end point is located at US 23 / SR 42. According to Georgia DOT’s traffic data, current traffic flow is not smooth, can be unstable, and results in poor levels of driving comfort and convenience. In the future, the traffic flow will experience an increase in stop and go traffic, poor travel times, heavy delays, and higher crash rates. The proposed project is located between two major routes: I-75 and SR 42. Based on the planning-level traffic, future improvements may be needed north of SR 42; however, the 155 widening project would improve mobility in the area with or without improvements on adjacent or intersecting roads.
The state received comments regarding concerns over the detour route, including delays caused by the train at the detour route.
Response: The proposed off-site detour would be in place for work at the at-grade Norfolk Southern railroad crossing at King Mill Road, located just east of the SR 155 intersection at King Mill Road. The off-site detour would apply to anyone accessing King Mill Road from SR 155 or vice versa. The detour route would not be used for travelers using SR 155 from I-75 to SR 42 and beyond. The SR 155 at Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge would remain open during construction.
Featured image shows a concept layout excerpt for the state route 155 widening. Georgia DOT photo.
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