A majority of Hwy. 85’s median through Fayetteville has for decades been an open turn lane, but that is set to change now that $750,000 in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds has been set aside to design and build a series of landscaped median structures on portions of the highway between Grady Avenue on the south side to Hwy. 314 on the north.
“By providing the medians, we hope to achieve a traffic calming effect to make the area more pedestrian-friendly,” said Public Services Director Chris Hindman, who will be looking after the project. “This is part of our Livable Cities Initiative in cooperation with the Atlanta Regional Commission.”
During a recent meeting of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, county leaders approved designating $500,ooo from 2004 SPLOST proceeds to the median project. That money will be added to another $225,000 being set aside from the 2017 SPLOST for this purpose.
Hindman noted that the median project was spelled out in both the 2004 and the 2017 SPLOST referenda, which were approved by Fayette County voters in those years. The 2004 SPLOST spanned 10 years, and the 2017 SPLOST will span six years.
Community stakeholders also identified the need for landscaped medians on Hwy. 85 during the process of writing Fayetteville’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan.
The City of Fayetteville initially sought funding for the Hwy. 92 realignment project in the recent 2004 SPLOST funding reallocations, but the Fayette County Transportation Committee denied the request, choosing instead to allocate it to the Hwy. 85 median project.
“We have not yet established a timeline for project completion,” Hindman said. “The next step is to hire an engineering firm to design a concept of the project, begin the review process with the Georgia Department of Transportation, and get input from the public.”