Milton seeks traffic improvements with TSPLOST projects

Three projects currently in conceptual phase



MILTON, Ga. — Milton has begun the conceptual phase on three intersection improvement projects aimed at easing traffic congestion within the city. Milton voters approved a countywide 0.75 percent Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) last November which will fund the projects.

The projects include intersection improvements at Ga. 140 and Green Road, the intersection of Hopewell Road, Bethany Bend and Bethany Way, and the Charlotte Drive extension.

The conceptual phase includes traffic counts, which are currently underway at Green Road and Ga. 140, as well as conducting land and environmental impact surveys and finding various solutions for potential improvements.

Sara Leaders, transportation engineer for Milton, said the conceptual phase of the projects will give the city a better understanding of the cost estimates and the process of completion.

The city is currently studying a possible traffic signal at Green Road and Ga. 140. The road is often used as a cut-through for drivers between Ga. 140 and Crabapple Road.

Carter Lucas, Milton Public Works director, said a traffic count will assist the city in determining how to improve traffic flow at the intersection.

“Our initial thought was a traffic signal, but we are looking at traffic counts to see if a signal is warranted at this time,” Lucas said.

The city is again looking at alternatives for the intersection of Bethany Bend, Bethany Way and Hopewell Road. The city conducted a field study in 2013, presented concept plans and held public meetings on improvements to the intersection, but the project was then tabled.

Leaders said the top proposal from the 2013 study was a “complicated” roundabout given the large space of the conversion of the three roads that do not intersect at the same location.

“We didn’t have any roundabouts in the city at the time and we were concerned with the complexity of the proposed roundabout,” she said. “For us to not have any [roundabouts], we weren’t sure how that would work.”

Four years later, the city is again considering a possible roundabout now that Milton drivers are more familiar with them, Leaders said. The city will revisit the original plan from 2013 but will use different software tools to model the potential roundabout.

Options other than roundabouts will also be considered as the city updates its traffic counts at the intersection.

Milton is also studying improvements at Charlotte Drive and Mayfield Road, another major intersection that has been unable to keep up with Milton’s growth.

With the passing of Milton’s Downtown Crabapple Placemaking Plan in May, the city is now looking to extend Charlotte Drive past Mayfield Road and connect it with Birmingham Highway near Milton High and Northwestern Middle schools, dubbed the northeastern corridor.

Lucas said the city is currently in the initial phase of the design of the extension and “getting a better idea of what the section of road will be as well as right of way requirements along the road.”

Once the initial studies of the three projects are complete, the city will then enter the design phase where it will study all potential solutions, including cost, right of way and garner public input. The city will then work with the Milton city council on a preferred alternative. Lucas said the design process usually takes three to four months.

When a preferred improvement project is agreed upon, the city will then seek right of way acquisition, which Lucas said is the biggest unknown of any project.

Construction is slated to begin on the projects in 2019.

TSPLOST is expected to bring Milton $569 million in revenue from April to March 2022. The three projects currently underway, along with eight other proposed projects, are top priority projects the city proposed to fund with the tax money.

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