Final transit meeting set for Thursday

COVINGTON - The final results of the Newton County Comprehensive Transportation Plan will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Center for Community Preservation and Planning.

The study was commissioned by the Newton County Board of Commissioners to evaluate current transportation modes in the county and make recommendations for improvements in safety, congestion mitigation, traffic flow and land use.

Consultants with URS Corp. have sought input from the public and local officials to complete an assessment of existing conditions on roadways and a needs assessment report listing the worst roads in the county and which ones have the most critical need for improvement.

County Engineer Kevin Walter said the comprehensive plan is necessary if the county is to be competitive in its efforts to attain federal and state funding.

"We'll be lucky to do a quarter of the needed projects with the way funding is," Walter said in a previous interview with the Citizen. "Even though we have money locally, and certainly there is state and federal money available, it's going to become very tight."

The Atlanta Regional Commission is funding 80 percent of the $312,000 study, with Newton County funding 20 percent.

Also at the meeting, the study team will recognize winners of an elementary school art contest in which students were asked to answer the question, "How will we get around in Newton County in the future?"

Each elementary school's art teacher was asked to select a representative entry for their schools for grades K through five, and a review committee selected county-level winners for each grade level. Entries are posted at The Center's Web site at www.thecenter-newton.org/ctp.

The Center is located at 2104 Washington Street. For more information, call 770-788-0484.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.