COVINGTON, Ga. - The Highway 278 Community Improvement District defined Phase 1 of the master plan during its Oct. 10 board meeting.
The CID stated they were applying for a grant to begin working on Phase 1 of the corridor project, which will make improvements from Exit 90 to Emory Street. The grant will request funding for a sidewalk on the south side, a multi-use trail on the north side, relocating utilities, landscaping and LED streetlights, according to CID Administrator Kathy Morgan.
"Most of these improvements will be within the existing right of way," she said.
The grant will be a joint grant between CID and the City of Covington, which have both pledged to match funding for the plan. The Newton County Board of Commissioners are a sponsor of the plan and have pledged to match funding as well if the grant is awarded.
For this project, the Georgia Department of Transportation has "graciously agreed" to implement two roundabouts - one at Pavillion Way and one at Emory Street - as well as medians from Turner Lake Road to the Emory Street roundabout, according to Morgan.
GDOT will also implement two intersection changes, both being signalized reduced conflict u-turn, or RCUT - one at West Street and one at Turner Lake Road.
The Highway 278 master plan - created by Thomas & Hutton, consultants from Savannah with an office in Covington - is 3.2 miles long, and Phase 1 will be approximately 5,000 linear feet, according to Morgan.
"The rest of the project will be divided into phases once this project is completed," she said. "I know we have discussed at least four projects total but due to funding availability, some of those may be divided into smaller sections, if funding becomes available."
The goal of the plan is to improve safety for all types of transit, whether that be for pedestrians, cyclists, golf carts or automobiles, according to the CID May 7 press release.
The plan will link residential areas to Highway 278 providing better access to shops, offices and restaurants.
"This master plan will help to foster economic opportunity, promoting walkability where it makes sense, while addressing all types of transportation and providing safe access," the release stated. "The plan will help to define destinations along the corridor. These choices will help to stimulate private property owners to maximize the productivity and value of their sites."
The CID will know the outcome of the grant application in February 2020.