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06/04/01 - University Parkway- GA 316 Corridor Study

 June 4, 2001

Tom McQueen, Office of Planning
SR 316 Study Project Manager
Department of Transportation
State of Georgia
#2 Capitol Square, S. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1002

RE: GA 316- University Parkway Corridor Study

Dear Mr. McQueen:

I served as Oconee County Commission Chair for 12 years, retiring this past December 31. As Chairman, I was directly involved in activities relating to the construction and opening of the Oconee County Sections of GA 316; Commuter Rail meetings and discussions; and upgrade plans. I am a member of the University Parkway Alliance. For several years, I chaired the policy committee for ACORTS, the MPO for Athens. Oconee County and ACORTS have been very cooperative over the last 10 years in the planning and upgrading of University Parkway. We adopted a protective sign ordinance and supported the naming of the road as University Parkway.

Oconee County and the GA DOT expended much money in advance ROW acquisition for interchanges and the planning and construction of frontage roads. Significant ROW acquisition and planning have involved the following interchanges in Oconee County:

  1. University Parkway (SR 316) and GA Loop 10, Paul Broun Parkway
     
  2. The Oconee Connector and University Parkway- Interchange ROW acquired by DOT and County and DOT constructed and relocated the Connector to accommodate the upgrade;
     
  3. Jimmy Daniell Rd at GA 316; DOT has purchased some of the Interchange ROW;
     
  4. GA 24 (U S 78) and GA 316; County helped DOT Commissioner Rives purchase the ROW and the DOT built a cloverleaf interchange;
     
  5. McNutt Creek Road- Bogart-316 Interchange; the county has acquired much of the ROW for the relocation and construction of the new interchange and access road.

Oconee has supported the concept of commuter rail for future traffic densities. However, the upgrade is of the highest priority for the purpose of safety and mobility. It cannot wait for years as I expect Commuter Rail to take. Express HOV lanes are needed for buses and multiple occupant travel. Traffic accidents frequently tie up the road for miles rendering it ineffective as an efficient route during "rush hour".

The current study needs to be mindful of the expense and planning that have already gone into this corridor. To change course or start over at this date would be a terrible waste of time and resources. The planning done by the counties in the corridor needs to be met with State and Federal funding to complete the job in a timely manner.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Wendell Dawson

Cc

Marta Rosen, Planning Administrator
Post, Buckley, Shue & Jernigan
Todd Long, Office of District Engineer


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