Work on the replacement of the Turner McCall Boulevard bridge over the Etowah River and Norfolk Southern Railroad is set to get underway next year, but it’s still unclear if that work will coincide with the widening of Second Avenue.
Joe Schulman, district communications officer with the Georgia Department of Transportation, told the Rome Rotary Club on Thursday that construction will take about three years to complete.
“When we do bridges of this size, one of the nice things we can do is use one side of it as a detour,” he said. “We will tear down one side and rebuild those lanes. While that is happening, we will use the other lanes for the detour. When the other side is finished, we’ll slide the work over and take down the other side. There will not be an off-site detour we have to go around. Traffic is going to be a little rough for a little while, but when it’s done, it’s going to be a lot better.”
Schulman was asked about the timing of the project as it relates to the widening of Second Avenue. At a recent Rome Public Works Committee meeting it was disclosed that the Second Avenue project could go out to bid this spring. Work would get underway in the summer and it would take about 2½ years to complete. The prospect of having major construction on two major thoroughfares at the same time is causing a lot of concern.
However, timelines for GDOT projects can be fluid.
“We have delayed projects sometimes so that they aren’t connected like that or run into each other,” Schulman said.
One project that has seen its fair share of delays is the widening of Ga. 140 from Ga. 53 in Floyd County to U.S. 41 in Adairsville. According to Schulman, it is now supposed to be completed in 2025.
“It’s had a lot of delays, unfortunately,” he said. “Some of that has been weather-related and covid has caused some issues with getting materials. All of our projects across the state had delays because of issues with getting supplies.”
Schulman also gave an update on another project that has been in the works for many years — The Rome-Cartersville Development Corridor.
“You’ll see it from (U.S.) 411, it’s a new road that’s going to go all the way to I-75,” he said. “We’re going to put in a new interstate interchange between exits 293 and 296. There are roundabouts along the route. Right now, it looks like the right-of-way acquisition is going to be either late this year or early next year. That is going to take about three years or a little more.”
Construction is expected to start in either late 2027 or early 2028.