State Approved Funds for Next Phase to Widen Highway 42

Photo of State Route 42 at Marketplace Blvd. Locust Grove awarded a construction bid for a new signal in December 2021 (Google Streetview photo).
State Route 42 at Marketplace Blvd, 2021. (Google photo)

A portion of state route 42 is under construction now in Locust Grove, but city officials aren’t done working to provide traffic congestion. The city has secured state funds for the next phase to widen highway 42.

The in-progress widening project extends between Bill Gardner Parkway and Peeksville Road. The next phase will extend north from BGP to Marketplace Blvd.

Next Phase to Widen Highway 42

City officials shared the news this month about the latest funding. Georgia DOT has committed $2.78 million to assist with the widening project. The city previously committed $900 thousand towards the project. Locust Grove Transportation SPLOST dollars will pay for the city’s portion.

The project will add a second northbound lane on highway 42. It will extend from Bill Gardner Parkway to Marketplace Blvd. Such change would also improve the intersection at BGP and 42. When complete, there will be two left-hand turn lanes from BGP to highway 42.

City officials estimate the project could begin construction in late 2024. Construction will then require 12–18 months.

Some residents may have heard about a concept shared a few years ago to build a roundabout at BGP and highway 42. The roundabout is no longer part of the plans. Such idea was ruled out after further analysis of the intersection turning movements.

State Assembly Members

State Representative Lauren Daniel (R-Locust Grove, State Senators Brian Strickland (R-McDonough and Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) assisted to secure the state funding. Rep. Daniel shared ”I am proud to announce this much needed funding coming back to District 117. I want to also acknowledge the efforts of [Locust Grove] Mayor Price, the council and, most importantly, GDOT Commissioner McMurray for working with me to alleviate the traffic felt in southern Henry County. I know that progress sometimes feels like it happens slowly, but I am committed to solving this issue, and I will continue to work to gain adequate funding for every state highway in the district I represent.”

Rep. Daniel and Senator Williams represent Locust Grove at the state level. Senator Strickland previously represented Locust Grove prior to the 2020 Census.

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Potential for More

In addition to the new widening project, Locust Grove and Georgia DOT continue to partner on a larger study. The study has two main objectives:

  • Identify the best locations to construct two grade-separated railroad crossings, and
  • Recommend a best plan of action to improve highway 42 through Locust Grove.

The study results could be ready by the end of the year. Such recommendations may then result in additional transportation projects within the city.

In 2020, the city made an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railroad to build up to two grade-separated crossings. Such action occurred when the city agreed to close the Bowden Street crossing. This agreement should save years off what can be a lengthy permitting process.

Featured image shows state route 42 at Marketplace Blvd in 2021. Google photo.

About Clayton 1529 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.