County discusses potential reroute of US 27

Published 8:30 am Friday, December 9, 2022

During the Troup County Board of Commissioners work session on Tuesday, the county discussed plans to potentially reroute US 27 down the Davis Rd. bypass rather than its current route through downtown LaGrange.

Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said that when then the road through LaGrange was originally built, there was a design to have US 27 turn left at the sharp curve north of the city and have the highway connect to Interstate 85 and 185.

The original plans would create a bypass of the downtown area of LaGrange and connect US 27 from Tennessee to Florida, Crews said.

“In the last five years, there have been discussions with the Department of Transportation (DOT) about the possibility of rerouting [US 27],” Crews said.

Crews said the county has talked with officials from the DOT for a long time, having meetings both in Atlanta and locally, and they’re just not making any great progress on understanding the DOT plan.

The sharp curve where the highway would be rerouted has been of great concern for years due to the frequent wrecks there.

The DOT is still moving forward with a design that would take that curve on US 27 and turn left to connect it to Davis Rd. near where Youngs Mill Rd. intersects with Davis. Plans are to make Davis Rd. a four-lane highway to the mall, where traffic could then turn left to go to the interstate and route back to US 27.

“We, as local officials and citizens I’ve talked to, say that is a terrible design,” Crews said. “If you go out on Davis Rd. anytime about eight o’clock in the morning or five o’clock in the afternoon, traffic is horrible.”

Crews said the county presented letters of support from several of the large industries in the area that use the road, including the Walmart Distribution Center, Kia Motors and chicken processing plants in Pine Mountain.

“We were told that there would be a public hearing. It was promised about January two years ago,” Crews said. “We all know that COVID hit and that was something we couldn’t control, but we just really never had a lot of public input into this design.”

Crews asked County Manager Eric Mosley to prepare a letter to send to the DOT and Georgia Legislature for more information on the plans from DOT.

“We think it’s time that we pool all the resources that we have available to us together to try to have a meeting with DOT to understand the future of 27,” Crews said­. “We believe it’s a terrible design. Not only because of the amount of traffic — we have two schools out there too. So, if you currently cross through there in the mornings or in the afternoon when school lets out, you see how far traffic backs up.”

 

“We can’t spend any money out there to fix that situation because we don’t know what the state will do with the road in the future. We can’t spend a million dollars to put in an intersection and then, all of a sudden, the state will tear it out. That doesn’t make sense for us locally.”

Mosley said he would work with County Engineer James Emery to craft a letter that could request a public meeting with local citizens and officials about plans for the road.

County Attorney Jerry Willis suggested that passing a motion authorizing the letter being sent might show better show the board’s concern for the issue with a more formal action. That could be done at the next meeting on Dec. 20.