Portion of Old 179 North to be closed starting Monday

Grady County officials announced this week the long awaited full-depth reclamation of Old 179 North will kick off next Monday, Jan. 14.
Grady County Road Superintendent Stanley Elkins says that the stretch of Old 179 North between the intersections of Spring Hill Road and Cal Thomas Road will be completely closed off and will remain closed for a minimum of one month. This stretch of the highway is a mile-and-a-half or less.
Motorists may detour to the closest paved roads, which would be Open Pond Road to the South and Harrell Road to the North, county officials advise.
Elkins says work is beginning on that portion of the road because the road must be totally reconstructed and shifted 10 feet west of where the existing roadway lies.
“There are also four to five box culverts there to be reconstructed,” Elkins said.
The shift of the road was part of the engineering for the project and was anticipated. According to the road superintendent, the road had to be moved in order to be able to widen it and avoid encroachment on state waters.
Elkins said in the near future, the county will also be forced to close the northern most section of the road to install six lines of 48-inch concrete pipe under the road, approximately half a mile from Mizpah Road.
“It’s been so wet, we haven’t been able to get to it, but we will have to cut the road slap in two to put the pipe in,” Elkins said.
Commissioners learned in July 2018 that the county is short approximately $1.5 million of having enough money to pay for the full depth reclamation of Old 179 North.
Without making up the difference and proceeding with the project, the county could risk losing $4.1 million in funding for the project from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Bids for the Old 179 project were opened in June 2018 and the lone bid from Scruggs Construction came in at $5,640,316.90, which was in excess of the engineer’s estimate of $4,250,000.
County commissioners had discussed the possibility of seeking a low interest loan through the state to make up the shortfall, but no discussion of the subject has been held publicly since last October.
Consulting engineer Stacy Watkins has recommended the county seek additional funding from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB), which is administered by the State Road and Tollway Authority. According to Watkins, the authority is interested in assisting the county with a low interest loan.
Commissioners have previously said that the county could use its Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant proceeds from DOT to service the debt on the loan.

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