Local News

April 21, 2014

Council hires appraiser for Veterans Drive project

In 2007, Dalton and Whitfield County voters approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) that called for, among other projects, transforming Veterans Drive into a major north-south corridor to relieve congestion on Glenwood Avenue.

The planning and engineering have finally been completed on that project, and the city will soon start acquiring right-of-way, which officials predict will let them bid out the construction later this year.

The Dalton City Council voted 3-0 Monday to award a contract to Rominger and Associates of Fort Oglethorpe to appraise 78 parcels needed for the project. The contract calls for Rominger to be paid $750 per parcel plus $125 to $150 an hour for any work in connection to court proceedings.

“They say they should have the appraisals finished in 120 days,” Public Works Director Benny Dunn said. “We need the appraisals so that we can make a fair market offer to the property owners. There may be some counter offers or negotiations, but we hope to go to contract on this in November or early December, and it should take about 18 months after that to finish it.”

The project has a right-of-way budget of about $2.2 million and a construction budget of $3.2 million, all of which will come from TSPLOST funds.

The basic plan calls for extending Veterans Drive south to East Morris Street.

“Veterans Drive is three lanes from the Bypass to Underwood Street,” Dunn said. “We’ll basically take that south. The only difference is that it will have sidewalks on both sides.”

The intersection at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will get new traffic signals.

“That’s one of our most dangerous intersections, and that will make it a lot safer,” Dunn said. “We’ll then basically follow Fifth Avenue to Morris Street. If you are in that area going north, you’ll be able to take this route across the Bypass to Fleming Street, which was just recently expanded into three lanes, and come out on the Cleveland Highway. That way you avoid the intersection of the Cleveland Highway and the Bypass entirely.”

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