By Tia Lynn Ivey
A consolidated school campus also means consolidated traffic. With the new Morgan County Middle School slated to open next year in mind, school officials are partnering with county officials construct another “pass-through” lane to alleviate traffic and enhance safety. The county’s financial contribution is estimated to be around $200,000 for the project. The school system has not yet announced what the projected estimated cost would be for its part.
“Over the last several months, we have been in discussions with the Board of Education regarding potential road improvements on East Avenue in front of the elementary school to alleviate continued traffic congestion,” said County Manager Adam Mestres to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC) at Tuesday morning’s regular meeting. “This congestion has led to potentially unsafe conditions for our residents who bring their children to our school system on a daily basis.”
Mestres noted that there are less students riding schools buses, increasing the number of cars dropping off students in the morning and picking them back up in the afternoon. The new pass through lane on East Avenue would connect to Georgia Highway 441, as well as a queue area on the elementary school property to allow cars to stack for student pickup and drop off.
Mestres stressed the need for this project to commissioners.
“With tthe new middle school set to open next year, it will create additional congestion in that area,” said Mestres. “We already have a problem now, we will have an even greater problem later if we are not proactive about this.”
Mestres anticipates that the project would be underway this Spring at the earliest and this summer at the latest.
The County voted unanimously to partner with the Board of Education on engineering and contract administration for roadway improvements on East Avenue with a formal “Intergovernmental Agreement to follow.”