The roads in front of two new schools will be improved this summer to accommodate the increased traffic.
The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to bid out two road projects.
In preparation for the new Newton High School, turn lanes will be added to both Crowell and Jack Neely roads at an estimated cost of between $700,000 and $800,000, while Airport Road in front of Flint Hill Elementary School will be widened and paved for an estimated $300,000. Both projects will be paid for with 2011 SPLOST funds.
The new Newton High is located on a 118.5-acre tract of land spanning between Jack Neely and Crowell Roads, north of Kirkland Road, so entrances to the school will be on both roads. It will open later this year for the 2013-14 school year.
County Engineer Tom Garrett said he expected to bring back bids for the project to the Board of Commissioners in May.
Commissioner Nancy Schulz asked if school zone lights would be a part of the project, and Garrett said they would Schulz. Schulz said the lack of lights was an issue when Live Oak Elementary initially opened.
The project has $1 million budgeted for it under SPLOST, but Garrett didn’t expect it to cost that much.
Flint Hill Elementary opened in August 2011, and the road is both too narrow to allow school bus traffic to pass each other comfortably and not in great shape to handle constant bus traffic.
The $300,000 will pay to widen the road from its current approximate 19-foot width by a couple of feet on each side, Garrett said, to allow buses to pass more easily. The road will be widened from the Ga. Highway 142 intersection west to Poole Booth Road, a 0.8-mile stretch according to Google Maps.
The intersection of Airport Road and Ga. 142 will be improved under a separate project at a later time.
The work on Crowell and Airport roads is expected to be completed before school starts up, while the work on Jack Neely Road will be nearly completed before school starts.