Saturday, May 30, 2009
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CONYERS - Commuters began finding new ways to get across Rockdale County after a portion of Flat Shoals Road was closed Monday and will remain so for the rest of the year.Rockdale County officials placed barricades between Parker Road and Almand Creek Drive on Monday to work on that section of roadway as part of the overall Parker Road, Phase 2, intersection improvement project.The county looks to widen the road leading up to Parker Road and raise the road that currently dips down to Almand Creek. Also, the closure will allow county crews to work around a natural gas pipeline that crosses Flat Shoals and Parker roads.Roger Heatly, a Rockdale County transportation engineer, said the county looks to reopen the section of road by January."We're closing the road primarily for culvert work, and we will also raise the roadbed significantly that will be a big improvement to the area," Heatly said. "Closing the road down will allow us to get the work done faster than trying to do it closing just one lane at a time."The detour for traffic along Flat Shoals Road will be from Parker Road to Ga. Highway 138 to Ebenezer Road and Johnson Road, which intersects with Flat Shoals Road.Flat Shoals Road will be open only to local traffic from Johnson Road to Almand Creek Drive.The road closing will include an entrance to the Rockdale Career Academy, which sits at the corner of Parker and Flat Shoals roads. Phil Budensiek, chief operations operator for Rockdale County Public Schools, said the closing should not affect traffic to and from the school. He said buses, students, parents and faculty will need to use the entrance on Culpepper Drive."There is very minimal impact on our routes; we'll route all buses to RCA through the front entrance," Budensiek said. "The county has done a very good job communicating that this closure was coming, giving us ample to time to review our routes and make the minor adjustments."All work is expected to be completed by November 2010. Parker Road will become a four-lane highway divided with a raised concrete median from Culpepper Drive to Flat Shoals Road. On the south side of the intersection, Parker Road will be four lanes with no raised median.Flat Shoals Road will be four lanes with a raised concrete median, according to a county press release announcing the road closing.Staff Reporter Michelle Floyd contributed to this story.Jay Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.