Highway 53 in Jasper Georgia Scheduled for Road Widening Project

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Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Partners

Regardless of personal opinion, it's obvious that absent some long range planning now, future growth in Pickens County, Georgia, is going to create a nightmare for traffic flow through downtown Jasper. Better that the Georgia Department of Transportation and the office of the Pickens County Commissioner do something, rather than nothing (as has been more the general policy of a number of other office holders over the years). So, like it or not, here's what's on the books . . .

There's still a fair amount of "discussion" regarding the Georgia Department of Transportation's initial planning for the widening of Highway 53 / West Church Street leading into Jasper, but the basic plan as it stands is to widen Hwy 53 (W. Church) into a four-lane from its intersection with Highway 515, to a point somewhere close to Summit Street, just past Bryant Street. From here, traffic traveling east through Jasper will split onto a two-lane, one-way route angling across to Industrial Boulevard and up Spring Street to Main Street. Hwy 53 in turn, from the Walgreen / Jasper First Baptist Church area heading west, will become a two-Map of Pickens County Commissioner and GDOT Proposed Hwy 53 Wideninglane, one-way road, back to the four-lane stretch. (It's a little more complicated than that, with all kinds of twists and turns, and engineering and environmental issues, but those are the basics).

Included in the 2.6 mile, eight-million dollar project, will be four new traffic lights: At Spring Street - Main Street and Industrial Boulevard - Holly Street intersections, and entry points from Bryant Street and the Ingles Shopping center onto Hwy 53. Work won't begin until sometime around 2009, with an anticipated completion date of 2011.  As for both "estimated" completion date and cost, we'll see . . .

And how successful the concept will be is anyone's guess. I'm sure there'll be advantages and disadvantages for everyone. Some will benefit from location, forward thinking, and the money-making real estate opportunities available. Others will be greatly inconvenienced. It's the unfortunate reality of growth. But, perhaps at least knowing this far in advance will allow us all to prepare and plan accordingly?  But, will we? . . .

If anyone has views they would like to share on the plan and its impact, feel free to post your comments.

More information on the planned widening of GA Hwy 53 through Jasper can be found in this Pickens Progress newspaper article.

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Trent Cluley

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