Roswell Mayor Lori Henry has announced an investigation into the handling of the Atlanta Street/Oxbo Road realignment project.
The city of Roswell has hired Jarrard and Davis, a law firm specializing in local government, to conduct an independent investigation to determine why this transportation project has encountered several significant delays.
Henry announced the investigation during the city council meeting Feb. 8. During the meeting, city council voted to approve a $2.5 million settlement resulting from project delays. In 2017, Roswell paid the owners of Roswell Hardware Store, which needed to be relocated as part of the road alignment, $3 million for temporary ownership of their property.
The property was to be returned to the owners in ready-to-build condition by Oct. 24, 2020. However, this deadline was not met due to the project delays. Roswell will own the property as a result of the $2.5 million settlement and will have the option to sell it in order to recoup some or all of the settlement costs.
“I have initiated this independent investigation because I am deeply troubled that this important project has been delayed and that the City has not been able to deliver on its agreement with the hardware store owners and its promise to taxpayers, who approved this project as a part of the 2016 TSPLOST referendum,” Henry said. “It is my hope that the investigation will reveal exactly what led to this situation, so that we can take any corrective action necessary and ensure this never happens again.”
The Oxbo Road project consists of the realignment of Oxbo Road and Oxbo Drive to eliminate the staggered intersection at SR 9/SR 120/Atlanta Street and to convert Oxbo Drive to a two-way street between Mimosa Boulevard and Atlanta Street (SR 9/120). The project also provides new turning lanes on both Hwy 9/Atlanta Street and Oxbo Road and adds a new traffic signal at the intersection. In addition, this project will extend Elm Street from its existing terminus at Maple Street to the intersection of Oxbo Road and Pleasant Hill Street.
Initially, construction was to be completed summer 2021. Once construction is able to resume, the project is anticipated to take 12 to 18 months to complete.
A specific timeline for the investigation is currently unknown, but Mayor Henry intends to make findings available to the public as soon as they are available.