Federal COVID-19 relief funds boosting road construction progress in Jefferson County


LOUISVILLE, Ga. (WJBF) – Soon a long stretch of US Highway 1 in Jefferson County is going to be wider. State and transportation leaders announced Monday some construction in the county is going to finish nine years earlier than originally estimated.

“This is all about opportunity for tomorrow, and for the next year, and for the next decade. And I’m very optimistic,” said Governor Brian Kemp following a roundtable discussion with key leaders and Jefferson County locals.

Right now, federal COVID-19 relief funds are stimulating road work progress in Jefferson County.

Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said, “At a total cost of about $150 some odd million so a tremendous investment. Again, with the governor’s leadership and focus on rural Georgia, economic development, these projects certainly make sense that not only move transportation forward but Jefferson County forward.”

The widening project spans more than 20 miles and includes four separate projects. Two north and two South of Louisville.

“With the federal dollars that we’re getting that’s flowing down, when other states are having to use that to make up for lost revenue and other things, we’re able to make generational change and speed projects us by years because of the fiscal shape our state is in,” said Kemp.

Currently, the new Louisville Bypass is under construction. Lanes are being expanded from two lanes to four.

Kemp added, “Every single county no matter where you are in Georgia is affected by the port and this project really ties all of those things in so we can continue to grow the right way in our state.”

It’s hoped to finish construction on the Louisville Bypass in fall 2022.

Below is a closer look at all the projects per GDOT.

  • US 1/State Route 4 from two to four lanes north of Louisville from Mennonite Church Road to State Route 540 (Fall Line Freeway). The Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) Region supported the project by contributing $2 million in Transportation Investment Act (TIA) funds, passed by the 2020 referendum.
  • The investments accelerate the project from an anticipated construction start date in late 2024 to May 21.
  • The estimated construction cost is $32 million with a total investment of $42 million.
  • The Kings Mill Commerce Park, a certified Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) site is located less than a mile from the project corridor. According to the Development Authority of Jefferson County, this GRAD site is fully equipped to accommodate various modes of utilities and transportation connectivity.
  • US 1 from two lanes to four lanes south of Louisville for six miles from north of Nimrod Road to the Wadley Bypass. The CSRA supported this project by contributing $3 million in TIA funds, passed by the 2020 referendum.
  • The estimated construction cost is $38 million with a total investment of $44 million.
  • The investments accelerate the project from a proposed construction start date in late 2026 to May 21.

TIA 1 Projects:

  • Louisville Bypass Widening ($5,000,000 TIA Funds) – Under construction; expected completion Fall 2022

TIA 2 Projects:

  • 5.9 miles of US 1 widening and reconstruction from Clarks Mill Road to Mennonite Church Road ($2,000,000 TIA Funds). This project will be awarded in a week or so.
  • The CRRSAA major ones noted above with TIA monies are moving to construction in 2021 as well.

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