After a year delay the study found no bats, said Paulding Department of Transportation Director Scott Greene.
Widening of the two-lane road is badly needed because Paulding County motorists face a number of congested, two-lane roads during their daily commutes, which can be up to 38 minutes for a 25-mile drive, Greene said.
“[Highway] 92 is the north-south spine of the county as far as traffic,” he said.
With satisfaction of the regulation from Nebo Road to I-20 the state can prepare for right of way purchasing. The widening project is broken up into 10 separate parts, and Peter Emmanuel is the GDOT project manager of four parts, three in Douglas County and one in Paulding.
He said the state is about 75 percent done with satisfying the federal requirements to be able to submit requests for the right of way funds from the federal and state government.
“Our biggest concern is right of way,” Emmanuel said.
The environmental documents should be approved by June 2014, he said. After all of the property has been attained the first phase of construction should start by 2017, Greene said.
Emmanuel said, “We estimated about 30 months of construction time.”
He said he is hopeful that it should be ready for drivers by 2020.
“We come to work every day with one goal in mind: to deliver,” he said.
Paulding sees the state as a partner in this project, Greene said. The county was willing to pay $100,000 to satisfy environmental concerns because if a local government invests the state tends to make it a priority, he said.
“The only thing the county will have to pay is for things we request,” Greene said.
These county-requested items are not in the basic design plan, such as grass medians. Signal maintenance, medians and landscape maintenance were the only requested additions, he said.
“We are the liaison for every Paulding County citizen that wants to know what is going on,” he said.