A new traffic light will arrive on Bill Gardner Parkway soon

Photo of Bill Gardner Parkway at Lester Mill Road (special photo)

The four-lane stop at Bill Gardner Parkway and Lester Mill Road has been effective in reducing crash rates, but also a constant source of frustration for many area residents. Now Henry County is accepting offers for a temporary traffic light at the intersection.

Henry County installed the four-lane stop in February 2020 following several serious crashes and one fatality. In October of the same year, the council awarded a design contract for future improvements.

Temporary traffic light

The county is currently accepting bids for the installation of the temporary traffic light. Offers must be submitted before Wednesday, October 20 at 3 p.m.

The Council of Commissioners is expected to consider awarding the offer in November. The contractor will have ninety days to complete the work following the notice to proceed.

Barring winter weather impacts, the new signal could be operational by January or February 2022. It will work the same as the National Highway 20 and Turner Church Road light at McDonough.

Widening Bill Gardner Drive

The county considers the new signal to be temporary due to plans to widen along Bill Gardner Drive. The design of the future widening may favor a roundabout instead of a traffic light. In addition, any improvement to the turning lanes would be part of the widening project.

In 2020, the county received federal funds to help design the Bill Gardner Parkway widening. The project extends between I-75 and National Highway 155. It will widen the highway from two to four lanes.

Earlier this year, seventeen engineering companies applied for the design contract. County staff review companies’ proposals before the board of directors awards a contract.

Finally, the November T-SPLOST referendum includes $ 34 million for the project. Local funds would allow Henry County to build the project sooner than wait for more federal funds. Voters will decide at the polls whether or not to approve the new local sales tax program.

The image shown shows Bill Gardner Parkway in Lester Mill Road. Special photo.

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