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Major step in new road complete

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Thursday meeting for residents to weigh in on routes for next phase of Quincy Bypass project

By Robert Allen

A new milestone was achieved in the construction of Quincy’s bypass.
The passage between U.S. 90 and Highway 12 includes one bridge, visible from Havana Highway when looking south. This span is necessary to traverse the Quincy Creek and the swampy lowlands between the two existing roads. Structurally, the bridge is now sound. Construction personnel can drive and walk over it at will.  
But the bridge project isn’t quite finished. The surrounding landscape has not yet been restored to its original condition — and the structure awaits its finishing touch — Class-5 coating that functions almost like paint.
Pointing over the embankment at the southern end of the bridge, Mike Gintoli, an inspector from Professional Service Industries, said around 1,100 dump-truck loads of earth have already been applied along the bridge’s swampy base during the course of construction.  
The 1.5 miles of roadway stretching beyond either side of the bridge, connecting U.S. 90 and Havana Highway, also remain incomplete. Gintoli said this is largely a result of the soil remaining too saturated with water during an uncharacteristically wet spring and summer.
According to the project’s website, www.quincybypass.com, this section of the roadway was scheduled to be constructed over about 20 months at a cost of $13.3 million of state funding.
Grandi Lavori Fincosit, an international engineering and construction company, was contracted to build the bypass while Reynolds, Smith & Hill — an architectural, engineering, and consulting company — was hired to oversee the project.   
The next segment of the bypass will continue counterclockwise around Quincy, connecting Havana Highway with Attapulgus Highway and then westward to an intersection with Bainbridge Highway.
The currently un-cleared section of roadway that will connect Havana and Attapulgus highways will run over higher ground, boarded by the Quincy airport and then crop fields.    
According to County Commissioner Doug Croley, these two particular segments of the bypass will serve several different purposes. Chief among these is the elimination of regular logging-truck traffic through Quincy’s city square.
The bypass will also reduce the traffic intersecting the containers from the BASF chemical plant, which cross Attapulgus Highway from one side of the company’s facility to the other.
The new route will also allow emergency responders to move more quickly from their base of operations on U.S. 90 to residents north of Quincy, allowing the ambulances and patrol cars to steer clear of busy city streets and intersections.
The course of the bypass will be discussed at a public information meeting hosted by the Florida Department of Transportation from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 7 at the Bates Community Room in the Gadsden Art Center. This meeting will also address another possible section of the bypass, connecting Bainbridge Highway with Solomon Dairy Road. Representatives from FDOT will provide map displays and invite input regarding the route of the new roadway.