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Porterdale intersection takes next step
Crowell Road, SR 81 intersection to be bid out soon
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County officials took the next step toward getting a stoplight at the dreaded Ga. Highway 81 and Crowell/Covington Bypass roads 4-way stop intersection, south of Porterdale.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pay $53,800 to URS Corporation to be the project manager for the intersection upgrade.

URS will bid out the construction project, coordinate with the utility companies that have to move utility lines and infrastructure, coordinate with the state and be on site daily during construction to evaluate progress.

Once construction begins — Chairman Keith Ellis said previously he expected construction to start in August — URS estimates the project will take 150 business days (Mondays through Fridays), which would equate to about seven calendar months.

The intersection improvement will include several upgrades, Al Bowman, engineer with Michael Baker International, said previously, including:

• the intersection will get a traffic signal

• all four directions leading to the intersection will get dedicated left-turn lanes

• Crowell and Covington Bypass roads leading to the intersection will also get right-turn lanes (Ga. Highway 81 heading toward the intersection already had a dedicated right-turn lane)

• the left turn lanes will be extended further back than normal to hold more cars turning left so that traffic doesn’t back up as badly

• further south of the intersection, the Ga. Highway 162 Connector and Ga. Highway 81 three-way intersection will get realigned

• the dedicated right and left turns for Ga. Highway 162 Connector are being extended further to hold more cars

The project is expected to cost around $2 million, officials said previously, with Newton County committing $1.7 million of 2005 SPLOST money and Porterdale providing the remaining $300,000.

To read the previous story about this project and watch the video, click here.