An announcement was made Monday from the state that a county contract was prepared and approved for the construction of 1.64 miles of roadway on LakePoint’s southern campus. The new road project will move Highway 293 away from its current intersection with Old Allatoona Road at the U.S. Highway 41 overpass in Emerson about one-third of a mile west toward Interstate 75. After construction, Highway 293 will intersect Old Allatoona Road on the west side of Love’s Travel Stop.
“We got the funds committed almost a year ago so that we, in conjunction with the county and the LakePoint development, could improve parts of 293 as it goes into that area — to help clean it up, make it safe and accomplish a good economic development purpose all at the same time,” said GDOT Board Member Jeff Lewis. “Where Old Allatoona Road goes under Highway 41 needs to be improved.
“The intersection was designed, I believe, in the ’50s, and it’s just not a very safe place to get on or off of 41 and the way 293 ties in is not safe either. So what we hope to do with this is to accomplish the three objectives of cleaning that intersection up improving the safety there dramatically, straightening out 293 so that it crosses Old Allatoona Road at a safer point a little farther removed from 41 and to have it aligned so that when some other monies become available we can carry 293 up to Old Alabama/Red Top Mountain Road.”
Bartow County Administrater Peter Olson described the multi-source collaboration for the funding of this roadway reconstruction. Totaling about $5.2 million, the state contributed roughly $3.5 million in economic development funds, the Bartow County Development Authority authorized another $1 million of economic development funds and former Commissioner Clarence Brown designated about $725,000 from the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program distributed by GDOT for locally designated projects.
“They’ve sent us the contract and Steve’s got it on the agenda for the April meeting,” Olson said, referring to County Commissioner Steve Taylor’s next scheduled meeting. “We’ll authorize the execution of that and also authorize execution of a services development contract with LakePoint to get them going on the road as well.
“So hopefully that work will get underway pretty soon. We’re just in the process of finalizing all the technical details and the documents. So many people ask me, ‘Is this real?’ ‘Is LakePoint going to happen?’ — I just tell them to stay tuned.”
The new roadway will be constructed in two sections through the LakePoint south campus. Two-thirds of a mile will be named LakePoint Parkway and about half a mile will be Bass Pro Parkway leading visitors to the national outdoor retailer, which signed a memorandum of understanding in December to locate a Bass Pro Shop on the southern campus.
Another half-mile of road construction will go into widening Old Allatoona Road.
“I am proud that through our working relationship with local and state officials that we can support Bartow County’s efforts for job creation and economic development and help it meet its growing transportation needs,” said GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden in a press release.