Gov. Kemp, SRTA approve $1.3M emergency aid for Pickens
Funding allocated to address damage caused by rock slide on Jones Mountain Road
Governor Brian P. Kemp and the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) Board of Directors voted today to award $1.3 million in grant funding to Pickens County. The grant would come from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) program for the emergency stabilization of Jones Mountain Road within Pickens County.
Jones Mountain Road, located near the Gilmer county line, suffered major damage February 22 as a result of storms washing out the road about two miles from the Pickens-Gilmer county line. The road has been shut down for all traffic except those living in the immediate vicinity.
“We are grateful to Governor Kemp, the SRTA Board and staff for awarding these grants through the infrastructure bank program which are truly needed by local governments to help address much needed transportation improvements, such as the emergency situation that we are dealing with,” said Pickens County Commission Chairman Robert P. Jones.
The closure of Jones Mountain Road due to a rockslide has significantly impacted residents’ ability to get to and from work and school, receive much needed medical care and has restricted access to local businesses. This disruption to the county’s transportation system causing detours to alternate routes has already resulted in longer commute times for the traveling public.
Governor Kemp, Chair of the SRTA Board, worked with state and county leaders to facilitate the awarding of the grant during this emergency incident. “GTIB was created to serve as an additional funding resource to support government entities, particularly at the local level, in order to accelerate transportation project delivery”, stated Governor Kemp. “We are fortunate that the State of Georgia is in a sound fiscal position to provide transportation assistance for local governments when unforeseen circumstances hinder the safety and mobility of the traveling public and negatively impact businesses and communities.”
The County will receive $1.3 million in GTIB funds to supplement $500,000 in additional funding from GDOT and $100,000 from Pickens County to ensure that the area surrounding Jones Mountain Road is stable and safe for passage. This includes removing and clearing off any debris, repairing the damaged roadway, building out the shoulder to accommodate the guardrail, and securing the surrounding landscape to avoid future rock slides for the safety of the traveling public.
The total estimated project cost is $1.9 million.