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Rock Quarry bridge
set to open May 1

 

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent
 

 Some big plans are in the works for Rock Quarry Road, and they stretch far beyond the bridge.

  The focal point of this north-south thoroughfare over the past 18 months has been the construction of a new bridge over the railroad tracks. The oft-delayed project has kept the road closed at that point since October of 2011.

  Once it is open in less than two months, officials in Stockbridge and Henry County will focus their attention on extending Rock Quarry Road north across Hwy. 42/138 and creating a new connector that will help streamline traffic between Fairview and the Eagle’s Landing area.

  The bridge itself is actually finished, according to Roque Romero, who oversees road projects and intersection improvements funded by the county’s special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST). Speaking at a March 23 town hall meeting in Stockbridge hosted by Commissioner Bruce Holmes, Romero said the concrete work for the bridge is completed and work is now begin done on the approaches. Paving should take place within a couple of weeks barring an excessive amount of rain, he added.

  Signage around the bridge currently indicates a May 1 opening, and Romero gave no indication at the meeting to contradict that.

  The current SPLOST is set to expire March 31, 2014. Should an extension be approved by voters, the next SPLOST will likely fund the extension of Rock Quarry Road.

  “This extension is a top priority,” Holmes told the audience at the town hall meeting. “If the SPLOST passes, it will get done.”

  Stockbridge Mayor Mark Alarcon pointed out that the city has already spent about a quarter-million dollars in planning and design for that project, so there is no doubt that the city is serious about it. The idea has been discussed for several years, he said, and there have been several different proposed designs during that time.

  The current design, which was on display at the town hall meeting, calls for the new road to continue north from the Hwy. 42/138 intersection and cross Old Conyers Road near its intersection with Collier Road. From there, the connector would travel behind the Stockbridge Lakes (Publix) shopping center and merge with East Atlanta Road near Valley Hill Road.

  The connector would be a four-lane road with a raised median according to the most recent design.

  Coupled with the completed bridge, this new road would be of great benefit to the northern portion of the county beyond Stockbridge, particularly when it comes to hospital access, according to Holmes.

  “Right now the residents of the Fairview area need better access to medical services,” he said. “A large percentage of them go outside the county for those services. This kind of access would encourage most of them to use Piedmont Henry and the surrounding area for their medical needs.”

  According to a printed list of Stockbridge project goals and planned implementation, the start date of the Rock Quarry Road extension project is Aug. 12, 2014. Neither city nor county officials gave any indication as to how long the project would take to complete.

 

 

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