DOUNWS-10-21-21 LUNCHEON

Douglas County Department of Transportation Director Miguel Valentin was part of an expert panel that spoke during Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon on transportation needs for the county.

A comprehensive transportation plan will serve as the blueprint for Douglas County for the next 30 years, according to the county’s top transportation official.

Douglas County Department of Transportation Director Miguel Valentin said the county will embark on a comprehensive plan that will improve transportation for the next three decades.

“Our roads have died two times over,” Valentin said at a Douglas County Chamber luncheon Wednesday focused on transportation.

Valentin was part of a three-person panel that addressed business and government leaders during an hour-long luncheon at the Douglasville Conference Center.

Also on the panel was state Sen. Jason Anavitarte, R-Dallas, and Georgia Department of Transportation District Engineer Paul DeNard.

“This comprehensive plan will be the blueprint for the next 30 years,” Valentin said. “We are going to take a look at transportation needs for the county through 2050. We will look at roads, trails, sidewalks and everything. We have a lot of needs in the county.”

Valentin said there has been a shortfall in investing in the transportation in the county.

He said that over the next 29 years, the county will have to invest $700 million on transportation improvement for 125 projects.

Douglas County Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones said pushing for a TSPLOST will be big in meeting the transportation needs.

“The last time the county looked a comprehensive transportation plan was in 2009, and a lot of those projects never got done,” she said. “Hopefully we can educate our citizens on the need for TSPLOST to help get this done.”

Valentin said that road resurfacing should be done every 15-20 years on average. He said it has been about 39 years since most roads in the county have been resurfaced.

Commissioner Kelly Robinson said it’s important to provide services to taxpayers.

“Some subdivisions haven’t been resurfaced since they were built,” said Robinson, who is chairman of the BOC transportation committee. “There are a lot of citizens frustrated over this issue.”

The panelists also said widening Interstate 20 is a big need.

“I-20 is the gateway to the west,” Anavitarte said. ... “Businesses want to move their products.”

Valentin said community and business input is essential in the decision-making process on transportation.

“We need to hear from you,” Valentin said. “If there is a need and you don’t tell us, we may not know to incorporate it in the plans. We don’t mind hearing it 10 times than not hearing it once. It is important for the business community to be engaged. It is your opportunity to shape the plans for the next 10 years.”