A chronically-congested route near Ga. 400 will soon receive even more attention in the near future as Dawson County officials plan for area growth.
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The Board of Commissioners held off on approving a study of the southernmost section of Lumpkin Campground Road in order to take a wider look at the route, which BOC agenda documents classified as an “undivided two-lane major collector.”
A wider study could perhaps save money and time by examining both the road section from the Forsyth County line to the roundabout with Dawson Forest Road and from Ga. 53 to Ga. 400, multiple commissioners said.
The need for a study of Lumpkin Campground Road’s southernmost part came about when the board approved the rezoning application for a planned subdivision at Lee Castleberry Road and Stacie Lane, Planning and Development Director Sharon Farrell told the board.
In October 2022, the county’s public works director at the time, Jeff Hahn, requested the study for that section of Lumpkin Campground Road.
“We started this dialogue back when that large project on [Ga.] 400 came in, because we realized we really need to take another look at Lumpkin Campground [Road]. Every time we issue a permit or there’s a rezoning–and we always have one to two of those every month–we just make it worse, and we add to the problem that we’re having.”Dawson County Planning and Development Director Sharon Farrell
Public Works has a study looking at the section of Lumpkin Campground Road from the Dawson Forest Road roundabout until the intersection with Ga. 53, Farrell said, but there’s only a traffic study available of the section from there to Ga. 400.
That traffic study of Lumpkin Campground Road’s northernmost section was part of Fox Creek Properties’ unsuccessful mixed-use application from 2022.
Farrell clarified that the county will get the stipulated $150,000 for road improvements once a certain number of certificates of occupancy are issued for the Lee Castleberry Road project.
“We started this dialogue back when that large project on [Ga.] 400 came in, because we realized we really need to take another look at Lumpkin Campground [Road],” Farrell said. “Every time we issue a permit or there’s a rezoning–and we always have one to two of those every month–we just make it worse, and we add to the problem that we’re having.”
Dawson Forest Road East roundabout
County conversations also continued for a planned roundabout at Ga. 53’s intersection with the eastern end of Dawson Forest Road and Thompson Creek Park Road.
This two-phase project will include the realignment of Thompson Creek Park Road and the construction of a roundabout.
During the BOC’s Jan. 19 voting session, county commissioners ratified a letter already sent to the Georgia Department of Transportation regarding additional funds of $561,000 for the roundabout project.
The board has yet to vote on approving a bid for the two-part project, though Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawke recommended the lower bid of $1.5 million for both project phases.
The roundabout has several confirmed or potential pots of money associated with it.
As part of the Advenir apartment complex’s rezoning stipulations, Penler will give $250,000 toward road improvements. The developer for the forthcoming Enclave at Dawson Forest project across the street will also give $125,000 for each of its rezoned parcels, a combined amount of $250,000. SPLOST VI funds will likewise see an infusion of $250,000 into the project.
Hawke said the county has spent just under $15,000 to locate and mark property corners and do topographic field work at the intersection.
Previously, GDOT had planned a quick response roundabout project at the intersection. Then, it was determined that Thompson Creek Park Road would need to be realigned before the roundabout’s installment. Later, both phases of the intersection project were combined, and the county took the lead.
Dawson County asked GDOT for initial Local Maintenance Improvement Grant funds of $500,000. Earlier this month, GDOT approved that money. When the county receives the GDOT funds and the money from the two developers, there will be a little over $985, 257 collected thus far for the project, Hawke added.
That’s not including $561,000-plus for additional LMIG funds that the county has requested.
District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines pointed out possible grant money to help with crosswalks, signage and lights for pedestrians’ sake at the roundabout, as well as potential federal funding to pave the rest of Thompson Creek Park Road farther from the planned roundabout.
District 3 Commissioner Alexa Bruce also wanted it clarified with GDOT which entity, the county or GDOT, would handle roundabout landscaping and striping maintenance.
DCN will continue to follow these Dawson County road projects.