Oconee Commissioners Veto Flyover Project

WATKINSVILLE — No flyover is coming near Daniells Bridge Road any time soon.

The Oconee Board of Commissioners voted on Tuesday night to veto a project framework agreement that would have constructed a flyover from Daniells Bridge Road to Epps Bridge Parkway, affecting about 580 homes.

Grady Newsource reporter Kendall Trammell was among 70 people in attendance.

The Georgia Department of Transportation planned to assist the local government with the project’s funding.

For more than 20 years, the flyover project has been on and off the board of commissioners’ agendas. The commissioners voted to table the project back in February for another 60 days in order to further research solutions to the community’s concerns.

This concept map of the flyover was included in a presentation to the Board on August 5, 2014.

Three people spoke in favor of the flyover on Tuesday. They explained that the people who were against it did not understand the effects it could have — whether they be negative or positive.

There were 25 people that spoke against the flyover. Most explained that there should be a balance between business and residential areas. To some, this project appeared as a matter with more commercial advantages than helping the people who make the business areas like the Epps Bridge Centre profitable.

Chairman Melvin Davis says he understands the concerns both sides shared. The board may not have had something physically to show people that attended the meeting, but he says that doesn’t mean the board wasn’t looking for alternatives.

“We have some concepts,” Davis said. “We have some thoughts.”

But that wasn’t enough to persuade people, even some of the commissioners.

“This is not the end product we’re looking for,” said Commissioner John Daniell from Post 2. “Something’s got to be done in that area.”

What’s being done now is maintaining what 25 people last night wanted — preserving neighborhoods’ “quality of life.”

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