Completion of the widening of Ga. 140 from U.S. 27 in Armuchee to I-75 at Adairsville will be No. 2, followed by the widening of Second Avenue from West Third Street to Turner McCall Boulevard and then the widening of Rockmart Highway from the Ledbetter Interchange south to Polk County.
Ken Wright, director of existing industry services for the chamber, said he had been contacted by concerned citizens who were worried the widening of Rockmart Highway would drop off the priority list in the wake of the failure of the TSPLOST that voters rejected in July.
Rome City Manager John Bennett said the project needs to be a priority because of safety concerns. Rockmart Highway has a long history of crashes involving injuries.
Bennett also told the panel that completion of the Second Avenue is important because the Department of Transportation has the work scheduled for 2016, but it could be moved up if funds became available. Most of the right of way for that work, which involves a realignment of the intersection with Turner McCall, Shorter Avenue and Martha Berry Boulevard, has already been acquired.
A couple of projects not on the short-term priority list got considerable discussion during the committee meeting Wednesday. Wright brought up completion of Technology Parkway all the way out to Alabama Highway.
Bob Moss, an engineer with Williams Sweitzer and Barnum in Rome, said his company completed the engineering for what would amount to a widening of Huffaker Road years ago.
“Part of the right of way has already been acquired,” Moss pointed out.
That discussion in turn sparked talk of simply linking the western bypass where it connects to Alabama Highway on to connect with Technology Parkway or Huffaker Road. Floyd County Water Department chief John Boyd estimated that would not involve more than two miles of new construction.
Wright also brought up the possibility of developing an intermodal terminal somewhere in Floyd County. Such a facility would provide a transfer point for off loading freight containers from trains for truck shipment to destinations in the region.
“That would certainly be beneficial,” said Martin Rhiner of Brugg Wire Rope.
“It could be a catalyst for other industry,” said Assistant Floyd County Manager Noah Simon.
The old Lindale Mill site was mentioned because of its proximity to the Norfolk Southern rail line.