Tag Archives: Old US 41 North

Agriculture, Internet access, and Transportation driving Development @ LCC 2015-08-24

New County Extension Agent Jenna Kicklighter will introduce herself at Monday morning’s Work Session,, they’ll consider a a Beer and Wine License for Dollar General, a new secondary Internet Bandwidth Contract with Mediacom, and the US 41 N widening has already spawned further road paving to promote development:

Lowndes County Engineering has received a proposal Continue reading

Tanker truck turning from Hambrick Road onto Cat Creek Road, 20 June 2012

This tanker truck just barrelled down Hambrick Road faster than the speed limit and turned onto Cat Creek Road, even though Georgia 122 is less than a mile to the north, connecting to GA 125 (Bemiss Road) three miles to the east. Does this safety hazard to residents on a local road seem right to you? Yet this is the kind of thing Lowndes County T-SPLOST projects would promote.

Tanker truck turning from Hambrick Road onto Cat Creek Road, 20 June 2012
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

Remember, the county wants to make this problem worse by widening Cat Creek Road and adding turn lanes at Pine Grove Road, Radar Site Road, New Bethel Road, and, you guessed it, Hambrick Road. The county wants to turn Cat Creek Road into a highway and Hambrick Road into a feeder highway. That project got cut from the non-discretionary T-SPLOST project list, but T-SPLOST also includes 15% discretionary funding, which will probably go to some of the projects that got cut if T-SPLOST gets funded.

And it’s not just Cat Creek Road. Also on the original T-SPLOST list was $3 million to widen Val Del Road and $10 million to widen New Bethel Road to the Lanier County line. And of course still on the approved list is $8 million to widen Old US 41 North from North Valdosta Road to Union Road. Even though $7.5 million for a bus system was cut first pass.

Which do you want, a new 1 cent sales tax on everything including food going to projects that promote sprawl and risk public safety? Or, if we really need new transporation projects, a gasoline tax going to projects that actually would benefit the public, including businesses, such as a bus system?


Why did old US 41 N increase from $8 M to $12 M? —John S. Quarterman @ SGRC 2011-09-19

I asked why the Old US 41 North widening project changed from $8 million on the unconstrained list to $12 million on the constrained list, an increase of $4 million or 50% when the description did not change? The answer indicates GDOT and local governments want to drive development north in the county, leaving pedestrians and bicyclists stranded yet having to pay.

Corey Hull responded:

Halfway through we received new cost estimates….

GDOT did the cost estimates, in cooperation with the local government that was responsible for that.

A state employee told me after the meeting that GDOT raised some estimates because it thought the local government, in this case the Lowndes County Commission and staff, didn’t put in enough to cover the project. I don’t know whether GDOT was figuring by Atlanta costs or not…. At least the cost didn’t go up further in the final project list; I just checked and it’s still $12 million.

Corey elaborated that some projects increased and some decreased. I asked him which ones did which. He said he’d have to go back and compare. Later he helped me produce a list of comparisons of costs of Lowndes County projects, which shows that one went down by 30% and three went up by 50% or more. One, RC11-000099 St. Augustine at Norman Intersection Improvements, went up by 131.5%.

That $12 million for widening less than 3 miles of one road is more than one item that was in the unconstrained list but cut from the constrained list: $7.5 million for a bus system, with three bus lines that would connect Wiregrass Tech, Five Points, Downtown, Moody, East Side, South Side, West Side, and the Mall. A bus system recommended by the Industrial Authority’s Community Assessment to aid in employee attendance, industry recruitment, and workforce.

You could probably even start up a substantial commuter rail system using existing freight line tracks for less than $12 million. Even though GDOT apparently only believes in roads and bridges, busses and trains are actually more cost-effective, especially for lower-income people. The same lower-income people who will be disproportionately taxed by T-SPLOST as a percentage of their income.

Instead, the description for the Old US 41 North project admits the county is driving Continue reading

T-SPLOST public meeting in Valdosta Monday morning 19 September 2011

The next T-SPLOST public meeting is tomorrow morning:
Monday, September 19, 2011; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; at the Valdosta City Hall Annex; 300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, Georgia; presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m.
These meetings are intended to gather public input:
After the public meetings the Roundtable will reconvene to review the public comments and adopt a final Constrained List that will be presented on the ballot to voters in 2012.
If you can’t go to the meeting, you can send in the public comment form or email Corey Hull at the SGRC.

I don’t know what you might want to comment on, but a couple of things that come to my mind are:


50% increase for Old US 41 North widening: now $12 million T-SPLOST

In addition to the Draft Constrained List for T-SPLOST draft constrained list of T-SPLOST projects, which doesn’t even include dollar estimates, this longer report contains details for each project. And the cost to widen Old US 41 North from North Valdosta Road to Union Road has gone up from the previous estimate in June of $8 million to $12 million in August, for a 50% increase! I wonder if the County Commissioners know about this rapid cost inflation.
PE $650,000 $800,000 $150,000 23%
ROW $850,000 $1,200,000 $350,000 41%
CST $6,500,000 $10,000,000 $3,500,000 54%
Total $8,000,000 $12,000,000 $4,000,000 50%
Curious how when the components went up by odd amounts, the total went up by exactly 50%. It’s almost like the total was increased and then the components were arranged to add up to that.

Also curious how the biggest increase, percentage (54%) and total ($3,500,000) is for construction. I could see how Rights of Way (ROW) acquisition costs might go up because people might not want this boondoggle in their front yards, but why was it so hard to estimate construction costs the first time?

And curious how that construction increase is a bit more than Continue reading

$7.5 million T-SPLOST for a bus system

What costs less than $10 million to widen New Bethel Road from 2 to five lanes and less than $8 million to widen Old US 41 North? The answer is $7.5 million for a Valdosta Urbanized Area Transit System
…including the creation and maintainance of a Public Transit System in the City of Valdosta and Greater Valdosta-Lowndes County.
What would be the benefits?
This project will provide mobility options for all travelers; improve access to employment; and help mitigate congestion and maximize the use of existing infrastructure by promoting high-occupancy travel.
And that’s the entire description for this project. Nothing about promoting sprawl. Would actually promote dense close-in development. Can’t be very important, then, right?

Not when the sprawl plans for Val Del Road and Cat Creek Road add up to $6 million, or almost enough for the entire bus system.

Last time the transit system was being considered by the county, I was asked by a prominent local politican, “would you ride it?” Not every day. But more often than I would drive on the $10 million five lane New Bethel Road.

If you’re interested in a potential bus system, here is a lot more information about it.

Here’s what Lowndes County submitted for T-SPLOST funding, extracted from the 171 page PDF.

Project Sheet

Continue reading

Widening Old US 41 North: It’s Back, for $8 million T-SPLOST!

Lowndes County wants $8 million T-SPLOST to widen Old US 41 North from North Valdosta Road to Union Road, and the map shows the entire road to the center of Hahira as part of the plan.

Back in 2009, a local citizens group called car41no managed to fight off widening Old US 41 North all the way into Hahira, at least temporarily. Well, it’s back! This time, instead of asking for general GDOT money, Lowndes County is asking for funds from the proposed T-SPLOST one cent sales tax.

What is in the plan for old US 41 North between Union Road and Hahira?

It is proposed to construct bike lanes and possibly sidewalks throughout the project for the residents of this area to use.
I suspect “construct bike lanes” means paint lines on the pavement, and note that sidewalks are just “possibly”.

So what is this plan really for? Continue reading

Comment on the Transportation Plan

The Metropolitian Planning Organization (MPO) invited people to a Public Open House last week about prioritization of the 2035 Transportation Plan, so we went to the RDC offices on W. Savannah Ave. and had a look. You can see many of the same materials online. The MPO has a comment form you can fill out and mail to them. There is also contact information on their web pages. They are actively soliciting input.

One thing I noticed was that along Cat Creek Road they are proposing several intersection upgrades (at Hambrick Road, New Bethel Road, and Radar Site Road) which look like they would funnel still more traffic through Hambrick Road to Moody AFB. Hambrick Road and Cat Creek Road are not highways. State highways 122 and 129 (Bemiss Road) make a nice fast route from Hahira to Moody. A few improvements at Walker’s Crossing (where 122 and 129 intersect) would seem much more appropriate. The MPO could request for the state to do that.

Widening of Old US41N is on the list again as a county project, this time as far as Union Road.

Several new roads are proposed throughout the city and county as well as widening of many roads with additional travel or turn lanes.

You can look over the list of projects and you’ll probably find ones to comment on.