By Tia Lynn Ivey
A consolidated school campus also means consolidated traffic.
With the Morgan County High School, middle school, elementary school and primary school all in close proximity, traffic congestion is a concern when school reopens to students on August 3.
In an attempt to alleviate traffic congestion, Morgan County Government is teaming up with the Morgan County Board of Education to extend part of East Avenue leading up to the Madison 441 Bypass and create a third “cue lane” for parents picking up students from school. The total price tag for the project is anticipated to be over $185,000, with the county pitching in almost $100,000. On Tuesday, June 2, the Morgan County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve its portion of the project costs in the amount of $95,499.42. The Morgan County Board of Education is slated to vote on their portion of the project at the next regular meeting on Monday, June 8 at 6 p.m. The BOE’s portion of the project is $88,209.92.
East Coast Grading, a local contractor, was awarded the project as the lowest bidder meeting all of the county’s and BOE’s criteria.
County Manager Adam Mestres has been working on this project since last year with school officials to ensure the flow of traffic and safety is enhanced.
“This congestion has led to potentially unsafe conditions for our residents who bring their children to our school system on a daily basis,” said Mestres last year.
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.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Mestres noted that “time is of the essence” to complete the project and the East Coast Grading company has promised to complete the project before school is slated to open on August 3.