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Frank Cochran back on track?
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This will come as a shock to many, but the extension of Frank Cochran Drive is reportedly only months away from completion.
APAC Construction, a company  in Chatham County, has been selected by Arch Insurance to complete the construction of Frank Cochran, Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards said.
APAC and Arch have reached a verbal agreement, and the contract documents are supposed to be signed by the end of this week or the beginning of next week, Edwards said.
The planning for the extension of Frank Cochran commenced in 2001, but after multiple defaults by the original contractor, Douglas Asphalt, the project was thrown into two years of limbo.
After Douglas went bankrupt and defaulted on 17 construction projects worth a staggering $338 million, the project underwent many delays, Georgia Department of Transportation Administrator David Spear said.
Spear noted that when Douglas defaulted on the DOT contract, its surety bondholder (Arch Insurance) had to make good on the obligation.
In many cases, this is a financial matter in which the surety can pay the contractors' bills and arrange for them to resume work on the project. But that was not the case with Douglas, which was so far behind on so many state projects that it was removed from the DOT list of approved contractors, and Arch was forced to look for other contractors to complete work begun by Douglas.
“There’s about 60 days of work, but it took us six years to get it done,” Hinesville Mayor Tom Ratcliffe said.
“This completion of Frank Cochran has been a long time coming, and I’m just delighted that the end is in sight. Cochran is in my district, so I know the people of my district and the people who will use this road will be ready for it's completion as well,” Hinesville City Councilman Charles Frasier said.
In other news, the city  received a $10,000 grant from the Georgia State Department of Community Affairs, which will be disbursed to the poor people of the area, Grants Administrator Tijuana LeCounte said.
The grant is used toward rental or utility assistance for Hinesville residents who are genuinely in need, she said.
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