Questions, Questions On Cloud Springs Road Project

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It is 0210 and 30 feet from my bedroom window there is an army of heavy equipment in operation. It includes but is not limited to a long line of dump trucks loaded with asphalt, several steam rollers, a truck spraying tar, and two large paving machines and support equipment. Vehicles as far as I can see in both directions.

Why are they paving at this hour? Is it better for the sake of traffic flow? No, they are working on a side of the road that is closed, with the exception of narrow entrances into side streets, which they work around all day long. Is it better to pave at night in general? Paving in the dark with nothing but vehicle headlights. I can't understand an advantage in that that but I am not a road engineer.

Perhaps they are paving at night so they can make up for lost time and meet the deadline that the company gave the state for finishing the project, or vice versa. Sometimes the contractors that do these large projects face a penalty if they do not complete the work on schedule. Sometimes there is a bonus for completing on time or in advance of a completion date. Could the early morning work be related to money?

I know that when the project is completed it is going to be wonderful. It will be beautiful and easy to travel. By the way, the expansion of the road only goes a relatively short distance past my house, then the road will go back to two lanes. How well is that going to work? Will that create a bottleneck? I believe that a phase II of the project is planned. Phase II will extend the widening of Cloud Springs Road further.

Since I first heard about this project well over 20 years ago [planning], the project has been held up for many years before actually starting. More recently there were right-of-way legal problems and environmental questions. Given the length of time to initiate the current project, what is the prognosis on phase II?

Just one more note. Where I-75 North and South crosses over Cloud Springs Road, the overpass has been re-vamped a total of three times since I have lived in the area [since 1983]. Re-vamped? I meant rebuilt. No wonder the State of Georgia has budget problems. Was it engineering mistakes? Federal DOT guidelines? Taxpayers are curious. I have written to my representatives in the past about other important issues--never received a response.

Just to be fair, homeowners were compensated for the right-of-way [property] that the road expansion took. I don't recall talking about temporary paving that shakes your car violently, paving edges that bang your suspension, sinking holes in the temporary roadwork that likewise wreak havoc on front end alignment.

We were told that the contractor would be spraying water to hold down dust. I'll let you guess about how that turned out.

Questions, questions, I got questions. It is the answers that perplex me, or the lack thereof.

Ted Ladd

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