The “Road to Nowhere” finally has its destination. Thursday afternoon, the county celebrated the opening of the intersection of SR 92 and Veterans Parkway and Westbridge Road, a project 14 years in the making.
The project comes in at roughly six miles, with most areas two lanes and some areas four lanes. It was funded mostly from SPLOST dollars.
Public Works Director Phil Mallon led the celebration, covering the history of the project and thanking the many people who made it happen, especially Carlos Christian, who he called the person who single-handedly did the most work on the project. He called the most complicated part of the process realigning Lester Road and SR 54.
“We had to arm wrestle GDOT to get a signal,” he said, adding that the next phase is to work on getting a light at the 92-Veterans Parkway intersection.
“This was a very large project and one I’m proud to be associated with,” Mallon said.
Commissioner Charles Rouseau, who represents the district that contains the intersection, promised that he is dedicated to making it work for the community, specifically at the now-busy crossroads.
“I’m glad that it’s finished, but we still have some work to do,” he said.
County Commission Chairman Eric Maxwell shared his relief at the completion of the project that had been on the books since voters approved a SPLOST in 2004.
“This is a big day for me,” he said. “We’re finishing a project that’s been on the books for literally 14 years.”
Maxwell expressed his feelings of vindication over the completion of a once-reviled road project that now is vital to the success of Pinewood Studios and Pinewood Forest.
“There were growing pains and there was some angst and there was a campaign to unseat several of us, and I left office because of this road,” Maxwell said of being voted out before returning to office in 2016. “While I was probably one of the dumbest guys to try to build a road, once Pinewoods came in I was one of the smartest guys.”
The completion of the intersection is a long time coming.
“It was known as a road to nowhere, and for the past few years it has been the road to nowhere because you couldn’t go anywhere on this end,” he said. “Some times it takes a long time to get things done, and I’m glad it got done.”