Traffic flows west along Old Dawson Road.
ALBANY ALBANY, Ga. — Local government officials say plans have changed for the proposed widening of a stretch of Old Dawson Road.
The multi-million dollar project is still on the table, officials say, but instead of four-laning the road from Pointe North Boulevard to Byron Plantation Road as originally planned, the road will be widened only to three lanes.
“Four-laning that road is overkill,” Dougherty County Commissioner Lamar Hudgins said, “particularly through a residential area. Don’t get me wrong, that is a congested site and it needs to be widened, but I think three lanes would be fine for that area.”
The widening of Old Dawson Road is one of several projects slated to be funded by the Transportation Improvement Act or T-SPLOST.
If approved by the voters next year, the program will generate millions of dollars for the multi-county region for road and bridge improvements through a one-percent sales tax tacked onto local purchases over the next decade.
City Engineer Bruce Maples says that the four-laning concept goes back as early as 1994 when the city’s longterm plan included the jump from two lanes to four by 2035.
But now, in an effort to mitigate damage to the private residential property in the neighborhood, Maples says the plan will be to put a dedicated middle turn lane down the length of Old Dawson Road.
“All we’re trying to do is make sure that it helps ease the traffic flow down Old Dawson without jeopardizing the residential nature of the neighborhood,” Maples said.
By doing so, government officials expect to trim the total cost of the Old Dawson Project from $28.9 million to $18 million.
The $10.9 million saved on the project will be split among the Clark Avenue extension and the Westover Boulevard underpass.