The closing of an Atlanta-based consulting firm in April forced Columbia County officials to commit more than $170,000 in sales tax funds to continue work on an extension of William Few Parkway.
Citing economic reasons, Greenhorne & O'Mara closed its Georgia office, according to county documents. The firm had been contracted to develop traffic studies, environmental and historic studies, soil erosion plans, drainage plans, striping and signal plans, hydraulic and hydrologic analysis, right of way plans, and quality assurance work for the extension project.
It cost the county $171,476 for Southern Partners Inc. to pick up where Greenhorne & O'Mara left off.
"Columbia County helped Southern Partners put together a design team that (the state Department of Transportation) would accept so the project could continue to move forward. ... The commissioners approved our recommendation and we were able to avoid a lengthy delay," wrote county Construction and Maintenance Services Director Scott Herring in an e-mail.
The project entails extending William Few Parkway 1.64 miles north from Riverwood Parkway to Hardy-McManus Road. It will be a three-lane road and will include a bike lane and a bridge, Herring said.
The cost of the extension is more than $9.7 million.
Herring said he hopes to receive all the necessary rights of way by July 2010, which is two months behind schedule.
Construction on the road can start about three months after right of way acquisition and could take two years to complete, Herring said.
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