Newton County residents concerned about what further population growth holds for the county's transportation system are invited to attend a meeting on the county's Comprehensive Transportation Plan at 7 p.m. this Tuesday evening at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Covington.
In 2007 the Newton County Board of Commissioners commissioned a study to evaluate the various transportation modes currently available in the county. The intent of the CTP is to make recommendations for improvements in traffic mitigation, traffic flow, safety and improved land use in the future development of the county's transportation modes such as roadways, sidewalks and public transportation.
"As we grow we can have a fairly clear idea of what kinds of transportation needs we are gong to have as a community and how to get that accomplished," said Hosanna Fletcher with the Center for Community Preservation and Planning.
The Center is organizing public information services for the CTP on behalf of the county.
Attendees will be given a preview of the CTP, which is half-complete by URS Corporation, an engineering and design firm contracted by the BOC to create the CTP. URS has completed its assessment of the county's transportation system and will share statistics with the audience on the county's roads, bridges and most trafficked corridors. Following the presentation there will be a question and answer session.
Among the statistics to be shared Tuesday night are that Newton County has 830 miles of county roads and that eight percent of those roads are unpaved. Yearly the county spends $800,000 in roadway and bridge repair and maintenance. The county has 32 traffic signals but that number is expected to increase by 50 percent this year to 48 traffic signals.
In addition to evaluating the county's transportation modes, the CTP will set out what the county's future transportation needs are likely to require, establish priorities for mobility, safety, connectivity and accessibility, provide a long-range guide for transportation system investments and develop transportation policies and a program of support projects.
The CTP is partially funded by the Atlanta Regional Commission, which maintains a CTP funding assistance program to encourage counties and their municipalities in the 18-county Metro Atlanta area to develop long-range transportation plans.