Community awaits opening of Gray Bypass

Gray bypass opens Tuesday

Plans for a $42 million bypass around the city of Gray have been in the works for over 20 years.

The Jones County Sheriff's Office says starting Tuesday, that bypass will finally open.

Our Madison Cavalchire spoke with people in Gray to see if they're ready for the new roads.

Just behind the railroad tracks in downtown Gray are a few small businesses and a whole lot of traffic.

"The traffic in downtown Gray has been a problem for years," said Paige Childs. "A lot of truck drivers come through here, and even the truck drivers complain about it."

But Childs says she's hoping the opening of the new Gray Bypass will change all that.

"You've got towns around us -- Eatonton, Madison, they have bypasses," said Childs. "Their downtown areas have not dried up."

Childs owns Treasures by the Track restaurant and antique store. She says she's ready to see downtown traffic clear up, even if that means losing some out-of-town customers, and so does Chap Nelson.

"People will be more apt to shop in downtown Gray and to be in downtown Gray if they don't have to fight the truck and transient traffic," said Nelson.

Nelson owns a downtown business too -- Gray Health and Rehabilitation.

"Everybody has been excited about the possibility of having traffic alleviated and alleviating some of the safety concerns," said Nelson.

Nelson and Childs both say they'll have to wait and see what Tuesday's traffic brings.

"I can't see where it's going to be a bad thing," said Childs.

According to the state Department of Transportation documents, plans for the six-mile bypass first began in 1992.


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