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Sigman Road, Parker Road widening in works
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Expect to see a lot more construction taking place throughout the county next year and in the years to come.

During the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners work session Tuesday morning, Rockdale Department of Transportation Director Miguel Valentin presented the board with two agenda items related to road altering projects for Parker and Sigman Road widening projects.

Both projects are happening to help relief traffic congestion and create faster alternate routes for Rockdale citizens and people passing through the county to get to I-20, says Valentin.

The first project discussed was the Phase II portion of the Sigman Road Project, a joint effort by the county and City of Conyers to widen Sigman Road into a four-lane road between Lester Road and Irwin Bridge.

Valentin presented the board with a memorandum of understanding from the city to that says the city will match what the county pays for the project up to one million dollars. This alters a previous agreement from 2012 between the city and county that said the city would match only up to 200,000.

Since Phase II will cost $8.5 million to complete, the city is increasing its share of the cost, says Valentin.

The overall Sigman Road project can be broken down into four phases. The first phase was completed in 1990s and widened the road from the Sigman Road/I-20 interchange, exit 78, to Lester Road. Phase III will focus on Sigman Road from Irwin Bridge to Ga. Highway 138, and then the final phase will stretch towards Dogwood Connector.

The project is still about three years away from beginning construction.

"We are moving beyond the conception stage into the actual design of Phase II of the project from Lester Road to Irwin Road," said Valentin.

The second project talked about during the work session was Phase 3A of the Parker Road Widening project, which widening Parker Road even further from Flat Shoals Road to Ga. Hwy 138. Valentin needed the board to authorize the action of sending contract bids to the Georgia Department of Transportation for the state department's approval.

This would get the ball rolling on GDOT sending the county federal money to support the $5.6 million Parker Road project. Valentin says he expects GDOT to send at least $3 million to Rockdale for the project.

Post 2 County Commissioner JaNice Van Ness seemed rather annoyed that the board would need to wait until the board's next voting session, Dec. 9, to vote on whether to send the bids to GDOT.

"It just seems kind of non-productive to sit around and wait," she said.

County Chairman and CEO Richard Oden shared her feelings that the situation should be accelerated.

"Let's quit wasting time," he said.

The board gave Valentin permission to send the bids for the project to GDOT during the work session to save time and will ratify the action at the next voting session.

Once this hurdle is jumped, construction on this phase of the project will probably start in another four to six months, says Valentin.

The initial concept for the Parker Road project was developed in the mid-90s. The first part of the project widened Parker Road Bridge. The second phase of the project extended the widening of Parker Road to Flat Shoals Road. The final phase of the project will widen Parker Road from Ga. Hwy 138 to Ga. Hwy 20 South.

Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt took time out to thank Valentin for the work he's been doing and also reiterated his excitement for the Old Covington Highway project, that will connect two sides of Old Covington Highway underneath the Ga. Highway 138 bridge, reconstruct the intersection of Green St. and Old Covington and widen and reconstruct all of Old Covington.

The project was given the green light by the commissioners earlier this year and Valentin says that the $4.3 million project is underway and should be complete either later 2015 or the early months of 2016.