The department recently approved the location and design of the $14 million project, which will be funded by proceeds of a special purpose local option sales tax for transportation.
County officials are nearing completion of the right of way acquisition, after which the widening project will be put out for bids, said Paulding DOT director Scott Greene.
The Hiram area of Ga. Hwy. 92 would see twice the amount of traffic congestion if Carruth Parkway — which intersects with the state road — did not exist, Greene noted. An average of about 19,000 vehicles per day travel Carruth Parkway — higher than most parts of Ga. Hwy 92, which is a major connecting route between Douglas and Paulding counties.
“We’ve been forced into [widening Carruth Parkway],” Greene said.
He also said the widening could lead to more industrial and commercial development along the road.
Carruth Parkway will tie in to the new East Hiram Parkway, which will run for about three miles and be a four-lane, divided road after its opening by the end of this month. This will complete a loop between the new WellStar Paulding Hospital and the eastern edge of the Hiram retail district near the Cobb County line.
“We see a lot of potential to grow business,” he said. “We think there will be an economic payoff.”
The project is planned to minimize traffic disruptions during its two-year run, Greene said.
It will include widening of the existing two-lane road to a four-lane road divided by a grass median between the Norfolk Southern Railroad and Ga. Hwy. 92, also known as Hiram-Douglasville Highway. The length of the project is 2.9 miles and will include the widening of an existing 500-foot bridge.
Greene said the county received some funding from the Georgia DOT to build the road in the 1990s because a traffic reliever was needed after the state opted to delay widening Ga. Hwy. 92.
The road was built in three phases, with the first two built in the 1990s and called West Hiram Parkway. It was completed in 2005 with a segment connecting it to Ga. Hwy. 92 and a new name honoring former Paulding County Commission Chairman Bill Carruth.
Widening of the road is needed for the same reason as in the 1990s – the state DOT is working to widen Hwy. 92 but may be up to five years from completion, Greene said.
Congestion on Hiram-Douglasville Highway prompts more motorists to use Carruth Parkway, increasing the traffic count and congestion on the county road, he said.