COVINGTON - Newton voters gave a decisive no to T-SPLOST, and it appeared the referendum was failing not only in the Northeast Georgia region, but in the each of the 12 regions throughout the state as of press time.
In Newton, T-SPLOST failed by 63.53 percent of the vote; or 10,567 no votes and 6,067 yes votes.
As of press time, with 157 of 171 precincts reporting in the Northeast Georgia region, of which Newton is a part, T-SPLOST was failing by nearly the same margin, 64 percent.
If the one-cent sales tax had been approved, transportation revenues generated in the Northeast Georgia Region were expected to total $987 million over the 10-year life of the T-SPLOST, from 2013 to 2022.
Of that, Newton's portion was approximately $120 million. Statewide, the tax was expected to generate $18 billion.
Newton County projects that would have benefitted were:
-- Salem Road - The widening of Salem Road from two to six lanes and installing traffic signals at the major intersections along the road from Brown Bridge Road to Old Salem Road at an estimated cost of $34,317,452.
-- East Covington ByPass - The road would be widened from U.S. Highway 278 to Ga. Highway 36. The entire project, at a cost of $32,754,420, would be funded through T-SPLOST.
-- Crowell Road - The widening of Crowell Road from the I-20 interchange to Brown Bridge Road from two to four lanes would include a bridge/culvert over a tributary to the Yellow River. The entirety of the project, at a cost of $31,782,683, would be funded with T-SPLOST.
-- Brown Bridge Road widening - T-SPLOST would fund $7 million of the $25 million project, which would entail widening Brown Bridge Road from two to four lanes from its intersection with Crowell Road to the intersection with Salem Road, a distance of 3.3 miles, and upgrading all major crossroads along the project route.
-- Covington Municipal Airport - A total of $6.6 million in T-SPLOST revenues would fund a new terminal building, navigational aids, lighting, a new apron, and fuel farm at the airport.
-- Industrial Boulevard from U.S. Highway 278 to Ga. Highway 142 - Turn lanes would be added and shoulders widened on Industrial Blvd. The total project cost is $9,799,200 and T-SPLOST would fund $7.8 million.
-- Closing of Frontage Road and relocation of River Road extension at Ga. Highway 11 and I-20 would be entirely funded at an estimated cost of $225,000.