LaGRANGE — The widening of Hamilton Road is expected to be top priority for city officials when the Georgia Department of Transportation’s governing board meets in LaGrange in October.
“My top priority for their visit is the Hamilton Road widening project, which has been delayed far too long,” said Mayor Jim Thornton. “I also plan to discuss with them other bottlenecks around town, such as Morgan, Greenville and Lafayette Parkway intersections and the S-curve on New Franklin Road.”
City officials also plan to provide an update on the Mission Zero Corridor and to voice support for the proposed LaGrange to Macon “export-import highway.”
The meeting will be a two-day event. The DOT board will hold committee meetings Oct. 14 with the official monthly board meeting scheduled for the morning of Oct. 15.
“We certainly welcome their visit and will speak with them about local priorities including Hamilton Road,” said City Manager Tom Hall. “We also want to hear about their vision for our area.”
The DOT meets once per year in a location outside of Atlanta. The State Transportation Board is comprised of 14 members and is responsible for exercising general control and supervision of the Department of Transportation.
“In terms of progress, our main interest is information sharing and letting the DOT see firsthand some of our accomplishments and challenges with transportation, as well as just show off the town,” said Hall.
Thornton said that he and other city officials decided to invite the transportation board to meet in LaGrange after speaking with Sam Welborn, DOT board member for the Third Congressional District.
“At Mr. Welborn’s suggestion, I extended an invitation to the DOT board to meet in LaGrange,” said Thornton. “They accepted the invitation and will meet here for their October board meeting.”
According to Hall, this is the first time in over 30 years that the DOT board has held its annual retreat meeting in LaGrange. He and Thornton said that the city wants to hear the DOT’s vision for LaGrange and Troup County.
“Relationships matter, and I look forward to this meeting as a chance to deepen our local community’s partnership with DOT,” said Thornton. “My hope is that it will elevate some of our concerns on the state’s priority list.”
Donny Karr is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2154.