Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Business and Industry Services Director Ken Wright updated members of the Chamber’s Transportation committee on several key highway projects Wednesday afternoon. He said right-of-way acquisition is under way for the Ga. 140 project.
“All of the environmental work and engineering has been completed,” he added.
Wright said once the Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center is in full service at the intersection of Ga. 53 and Ga. 140, another 200 trucks a day are expected to be on that section of Ga. 140.
In other road issues, Wright said pre-engineering is due to start on Rockmart Highway, which will one day be widened from Rome into Polk County. The Georgia Department of Transportation has sent letters notifying property owners along the route that crews will be taking soil borings.
Also, GDOT continues to work on a slight adjustment to the U.S. 411 Connector to Interstate 75 in Cartersville.
The route has been shifted about 1,000 feet to the south so as to not create an adverse affect on the Dobbins Mountain minescape. Wright said GDOT is doing environmental and archaeological studies on the adjusted route at this time.
Former state representative Paul Smith told the committee that he “ran out of time in the legislature before the Rollins family ran out of money” to continue their nearly three-decade campaign against the road that is slated to cut a swath across the family’s ranch property.
Eddie Schrock, an engineer with Williams, Sweitzer and Barnum, said GDOT is continuing to purchase right of way for the leg of the southern bypass around Rome that will connect U.S. 27 to Rockmart Road. Schrock said the project could be put out for bid by February 2015.
Schrock also outlined plans for the section of the bypass from Rockmart Highway to U.S. 411 East. He said the proposed route would bring the bypass into 411 close to Hine Road and continue across 411 on a new alignment to join the East bypass between Wilbanks Road and the Etowah River.
Rome City Commissioner Buzz Wachsteter encouraged committee members to tell the Chamber or local government leaders if they have transportation projects that could be included in a proposed special purpose, local option sales tax package that is in the early stages of development.