County OKs resurfacing, light bids

COVINGTON -- County commissioners approved Tuesday night bids for two road projects that are being funded with federal stimulus dollars.

Installation of the long-awaited temporary traffic light at Oak Hill Road and Ga. Highway 212 was awarded to Moye Electrical Inc. at a cost of $106,548.30. The traffic light is intended to help alleviate congestion until more permanent improvements can be made to the roadway.

"When the DOT says 'temporary,' it could be 10 or 15 years," BOC Chairman Kathy Morgan said. "The need for a traffic light at that intersection is extremely important. Both the DOT and the Newton County Board of Commissioners recognized how dangerous that intersection was."

The Department of Transportation has plans to add turn lanes and widen the roadway in front of Denny Dobbs Park and Oak Hill Elementary School along Oak Hill Road, but that likely won't be completed until 2014, and other improvements could take even longer, Morgan said.

Also, the resurfacing of Gum Creek Road has been needed for years, according to Morgan. Though there is not money to pave the entire road, 2.8-mile stretch, from Ga. Highway 81 to Ellis Road, will be resurfaced with stimulus money.

"If we don't resurface the road it will deteriorate and be more costly to repair," Morgan said.

Commissioners approved the low bid from Pittman Construction of $380,289.75.

The county was allocated $500,000 for each project, and it appears both will fall under budget. Though the DOT will keep any money that is not used, Morgan said county officials will work with DOT representatives to allocate the remaining funds to other projects within the county.