GDOT open house allows citizens to voice opinions
by Amanda Stegall
Aug 24, 2011 | 2923 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A group attending Tuesday night’s Georgia Department of Transportation open house in Bartow County looks at the Statewide Improvement Program that includes Bartow’s District 6. Facing the poster from the left, Norma Gross, Mable Cook, Pamela Potter, Tracy Rodger and Mary Martin.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
A group attending Tuesday night’s Georgia Department of Transportation open house in Bartow County looks at the Statewide Improvement Program that includes Bartow’s District 6. Facing the poster from the left, Norma Gross, Mable Cook, Pamela Potter, Tracy Rodger and Mary Martin. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Locals opposed to the suggested U.S. Highway 411 Connector, Route D-VE gathered with officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation Tuesday evening to discuss the project.

While perusing maps with several projects drawn as color-coded routes, Mohamed Arafa, GDOT communications specialist, told citizens that there have been no changes to the original plan.

"At this time there has been no right-of-way acquisition and we are waiting on the federal reviews on historical studies, the Euharlee easement and testing at Dobbins Mine for the acid run-off," said Arafa. "We are working closely with the Federal Highway Safety Administration on this project and waiting for their reviews."

Arafa said that the purpose of the open house meetings is to gain public feedback and comments on all federally funded projects for the district in which they are planned. At Tuesday's meeting, maps were available for public view for projects planned for Bartow, Carroll, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Pickens and Polk counties.

Members of the Coalition for the Right Road (CORR) were on hand, questioning the current activity on the plans for the controversial proposed Route D-VE. The group opposes the route due to environmental concerns and excessive taxpayer cost. 

Citing a similar situation in Pennsylvania where a pyrite mine was cored through to build a road, CORR member Tracy Rogers said the Bartow group fears a repeat problem.

"The acid run-off would go to the Etowah River," said Rogers. "Part of a stream in Pennsylvania was killed and we don't want that to happen here."

Construction could begin for the new route in 2015, pending the environmental and federal reviews as well as an approval to build the connection.

A second open house for the district will be held today at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, 200 Northside Drive, Carrollton, from 5 to 7 p.m.

For general information on the Georgia DOT, visit www.dot.ga.gov.