Bethlehem Still Awaiting Green Light on Traffic Signal
After nearly five decades and a much-anticipated Department of Transportation approval, the road improvement project has stalled again.
The subject of a newly designed intersection with traffic light at Ga. Highway 11 and Star Street has been a topic of discussion at many town council meetings at Bethlehem City Hall since the 1960s.
Just when it seemed the hard-fought battle had been won following an endless string of traffic studies, the much-anticipated approval for the project from the Department of Transportation in 2010, another DOT approval for engineer plans in 2011 and the exciting issuing of a request for bids from contractors late last summer, it appears the road improvement project in Bethlehem has hit yet another roadblock.
Professional landscape architectural, land planning, civil engineering and land surveying firm McFarland-Dyer & Associates has been working closely with the Bethlehem Town Council and the various utility companies whose services will require relocation during the project’s construction phase to negotiate costs of the move. While the project has been successfully negotiated with Georgia Power thus far, the negotiations are still ongoing with Windstream and the city of Winder regarding the costs to move water, gas and remaining utility lines.
Once the construction phase finally begins, the project will entail elements such as grading, construction and installation of roadway intersection improvements, utility relocation, signalization improvements, concrete work, curb and gutter installation, striping and signage, storm drainage improvements, erosion control measures, maintenance of traffic, asphalt pavement, handicap ramp and tactile warning strip installation and clean up and restoration.
Following last year’s bid process, Baldwin Paving Company Inc. was issued a letter of intent by the town of Bethlehem to manage the project. It is the hope of the town council that once the project is finally under way, the new intersection will help relieve heavy congestion in the heart of Bethlehem.
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