None of the seven property owners affected by Hinesville’s Frank Cochran road-widening project attended an informative meeting Tuesday. Only Paul Simonton, president and CEO of the city’s engineering firm P.C. Simonton & Associates, and consulting appraiser David Davis showed up.
The city is attempting to acquire seven parcels for right-of-way, Simonton said. The meeting was held to inform property owners about the acquisition process, allow them to voice any concerns they might have — such as over the potential loss of parking spaces — and introduce them to Davis, who soon will be appraising their properties, he said.
Hinesville’s city council approved a right-of-way acquisition contract with Georgia Department of Transportation in April. The contract applies to the portion of Frank Cochran Drive from north of Georgia Highway 119 to McNeely Road.
The city plans to reconstruct and widen 2.7 miles of road, according to Simonton.
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas told the Courier on Wednesday that Frank Cochran “backs up” when traffic comes on and off Fort Stewart at peak rush hours. The bottlenecking is due to traffic flowing from a four-lane to a two-lane on Frank Cochran, Thomas said.
Simonton said some property owners along Frank Cochran, such as The Village Daycare and Full Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, might benefit from the widening project, which will include the installation of turn lanes.
Davis said he researches several years of market data before appraising properties to determine their fair market value.
Market value is defined by the Georgia Department of Transportation as “the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.”
Simonton said widening of Frank Cochran may not begin until 2013, but the city may relocate utilities prior to the road’s