Bartow Paving Awarded the Hunter Trail Construction Project at Bells Ferry Road

The Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road Improvements project is poised to be a catalyst for economic growth, attracting new businesses and investments to Cherokee County.
Cherokee County Commission Chair Harry Johnston and Bartow Paving executive
Courtesy: EnvZone
By | 8 min read

Nestled amidst the vibrant landscape of the metro Atlanta area, Cherokee County in Georgia emerges as a beacon of growth and opportunity. With a reputation as one of the most rapidly developing counties in the region, Cherokee County embodies a blend of urban dynamism and natural allure.

Central to this narrative of progress is the proposed Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road Improvements project, a cornerstone initiative set to redefine connectivity, bolster infrastructure, and enhance the community’s fabric.

Bells Ferry Road: A Gateway to Opportunity in Cherokee County

Located just 30 miles north of bustling downtown Atlanta, Cherokee County is a vibrant component of the expansive 11-county metro Atlanta area. Boasting a population exceeding 279,000, as estimated by the 2022 Atlanta Regional Commission, Cherokee County stands out as one of the fastest-growing counties within the metropolitan region. 

Despite its rapid expansion, the county maintains one of the lowest overall tax burdens per capita under the careful stewardship of its Board of Commissioners.

Renowned for its picturesque landscapes and abundant recreational opportunities, Cherokee County offers a harmonious blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. With world-class parks and recreational facilities dotting its scenic terrain, the county beckons outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Moreover, Cherokee County serves as a thriving hub for corporate headquarters, attracting businesses seeking a strategic location with access to both metropolitan resources and the tranquility of mountain vistas. This juxtaposition of urban sophistication and scenic splendor renders Cherokee County an ideal destination to live, work, and play. 

In Cherokee County, the convergence of metropolitan vibrancy and natural serenity gives rise to a unique blend of opportunities and experiences, earning it the moniker “where Metro Meets the Mountains.” Whether one seeks the pulse of city life or the tranquility of mountain retreats, Cherokee County offers the best of both worlds, inviting residents and visitors to embrace its dynamic charm and vibrant spirit.

Bells Ferry Road is an important road in Cherokee County, Georgia.

Named after the historic Bells Ferry that once traversed the Etowah River, this road has evolved from its humble origins into a bustling thoroughfare stretching approximately 21 miles.

Bells Ferry Road holds a crucial role as the primary north-south arterial in the southwest region of Cherokee County. At the same time, Highway 92 serves as a significant east-west arterial connector linking I-75 and I-575. These vital connections not only provide easy access but also bestow a privileged location to the area, enhancing its accessibility and connectivity within the broader transportation network.

Cherokee County people
Courtesy: Cherokee County

Today, Bells Ferry Road stands as more than just a route for vehicular travel. It serves as a lifeline for local residents, connecting them to essential amenities such as shopping centers, dining establishments, parks, schools, and healthcare facilities.

Its strategic intersections with major roads and highways facilitate efficient commuting and contribute to the area’s economic vitality.

The road’s evolution mirrors the growth of Cherokee County itself. Over the years, development along Bells Ferry Road has surged, prompting infrastructure enhancements and community-driven initiatives.

The RFP – Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road Improvements

The solicitation issued by the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners Purchasing Department for the Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road Improvements, Project 73129, represents a strategic endeavor aimed at transforming infrastructure and connectivity within the county. Beyond the surface-level procurement process, this solicitation embodies the county’s commitment to fostering sustainable growth and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

At its core, the project seeks to address critical needs for enhanced accessibility and connectivity along Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road, spanning a significant stretch from the Cobb County line to Victory Drive.

By soliciting competitive sealed bids, the County aims to engage qualified contractors who can deliver on the vision of creating a pathway that seamlessly integrates with the existing infrastructure while meeting specified standards and requirements.

The timeline laid out in the solicitation reflects the County’s dedication to efficient project management and timely execution. With key milestones established, such as the deadlines for bid submission and the anticipated award date, the County sets clear expectations and ensures accountability throughout the procurement process.

Moreover, the delineation of the period of performance underscores the complexity of the project, encompassing not only the physical delivery of goods but also the provision of services essential for the project’s success. 

Ultimately, this solicitation represents more than just a contractual agreement; it symbolizes the County’s vision for the future—a future where infrastructure is not just functional but transformative, where connectivity is not just a convenience but a cornerstone of community development.

The Comprehensive Benefits of the Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road Improvements Project

The Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road Improvements project brings a multitude of benefits to Cherokee County, promising a significant transformation in infrastructure and quality of life.

One of the primary advantages is the anticipated improvement in traffic flow along this critical corridor. By optimizing design elements and traffic management strategies, the project aims to reduce congestion, resulting in smoother and more efficient travel times for both residents and businesses.

Additionally, the project integrates enhanced safety measures, including upgraded road signage, improved visibility at intersections, and dedicated pedestrian crossings. These measures collectively contribute to a safer road environment, minimizing accidents and promoting road safety for all road users.

Beyond traffic and safety enhancements, the project also opens up new economic growth opportunities for the county. The improved accessibility and connectivity offered by the upgraded Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road make Cherokee County an attractive destination for businesses seeking strategic locations with robust transportation networks.

This influx of businesses can lead to job creation, increased investments, and a boost to the local economy, fostering prosperity and development.

Furthermore, the project’s focus on connectivity extends to residents and businesses alike, creating a seamless network that links residential areas, commercial hubs, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and recreational amenities.

This interconnectedness not only facilitates daily activities but also promotes community cohesion and overall well-being. Residents benefit from easier access to essential services, while businesses enjoy improved logistical advantages and customer accessibility.

Ensuring Safety and Compliance: Key Specifications for Construction Project Execution

The project specifications outline stringent guidelines to govern the execution of construction activities, prioritizing safety, efficiency, and regulatory compliance.

To minimize disruptions to traffic flow, the Contractor is restricted from performing work or moving equipment/materials across roadways during peak hours, with exceptions subject to approval by the Engineer.

Cherokee County executives in an event
Courtesy: Cherokee County

Night work, if necessary, requires prior written approval from Cherokee County and must adhere to specified hours. Essential safety measures, such as mounting construction signs and utilizing reduced speed limit signs as per GDOT standards, are mandated to ensure awareness and safety in work zones.

Additionally, temporary striping costs are to be included in the Traffic Control pay item, emphasizing the importance of promptly striping roads post-paving for enhanced visibility and delineation. Adherence to Georgia Department of Transportation standards is paramount, with a mandatory 14-day asphalt curing period before the placement of thermoplastic striping.

The Contractor bears responsibility for utility coordination and the proper management of irrigation lines, including capping and flagging any lines cut. Negotiations for additional pay items must align with specified pricing parameters, promoting transparency and cost-effectiveness. 

Transparent Evaluation Process: Ensuring Fairness in County Procurement

The evaluation criteria outlined for bids and proposals provide a structured approach to assessing submissions in a fair and transparent manner. Bidders and proposers are informed about the specific criteria that will be used to evaluate their submissions, emphasizing the importance of responsiveness and responsibility in their bids or proposals.

One key aspect highlighted is the consideration of options or additive work beyond the base bid. While such additions are welcome and will be evaluated financially, there’s a clear stipulation that they must align with the County’s budgetary constraints.

Cherokee County executives kick off a project
Courtesy: Cherokee County

The criteria for responsiveness and responsibility further ensure that bidders or proposers meet the necessary standards to undertake the project successfully. This includes evaluating the bid or proposal based on price and total cost, with the option to contact references if needed for a more comprehensive assessment.

Moreover, the guidelines for submitting bids and proposals provide clarity on the methods accepted by the County, whether electronically or through physical receipt. This helps streamline the submission process and ensures that all submissions are received and processed in accordance with the specified procedures.

Top 8 Contenders: Cherokee County’s Selection Process for the Hunter Trail Improvement Project

In Cherokee County’s procurement process for the Hunter Trail at Bells Ferry Road Improvements project, the county has identified eight distinguished construction companies as top contenders.

These firms, each showcasing a wealth of experience and expertise, have submitted bids reflecting their commitment to excellence and innovation in infrastructure development.

The top 8 companies ranked by the county include Bartow Paving Company, Inc., Excellere Construction LLC, S.H. Creel Contracting, Sol Construction, LLC, Wilson Construction Management LLC, Backbone Infrastructure, LLC, Ohmshiv Construction, LLC, and Vertical Earth, Incorporated.

From Bartow Paving Company, Inc.’s established track record to the dynamic approach of Excellere Construction LLC, each contender brings a unique set of strengths to the forefront.

As the county meticulously evaluates the proposals, considering factors such as cost, past performance, and project management capabilities, it’s evident that the competition is robust.

Whether it’s S.H. Creel Contracting’s reputation for delivering on-time and within budget or Sol Construction, LLC’s dedication to quality craftsmanship, Cherokee County faces the challenging task of selecting the most qualified contractor to lead this critical project.

With bids ranging from $370,939.00 to $570,939.00, the county recognizes the importance of this initiative and the collective commitment of both the county and the participating firms to enhance the infrastructure along the Hunter Trail corridor.

The Winner – Bartow Paving Company, Inc

The procurement summary unveils a meticulous evaluation process that went beyond superficial pricing considerations to ensure the selection of the most suitable vendor for the Hunter Tr. at Bells Ferry Improvements project.

Bartow Paving Company, Inc. emerged as the recommended awardee with a competitive bid of $379,971.77, but their selection was not solely based on price. Instead, the evaluation delved deeper into Bartow Paving Company, Inc.’s capabilities, reliability, and alignment with project requirements.

The evaluation committee scrutinized Bartow Paving Company, Inc.’s track record in road construction and maintenance, finding a history of successful project completions within budget and on schedule.

Bartow Paving in a project
Courtesy: Bartow Paving Company

This demonstrated their expertise and readiness to tackle the complexities of the Hunter Tr. project. Additionally, Bartow Paving Company, Inc. showcased a strong commitment to compliance with project specifications, promptly addressing any queries and submitting thorough documentation throughout the procurement process.

Beyond technical capability, Bartow Paving Company, Inc.’s reputation within the industry and past performance were pivotal in their selection. Their proven reliability and ability to meet project milestones earned them the trust of the evaluation committee.

Moreover, Bartow Paving Company is a reputable paving contractor with a significant history of collaboration with Cherokee County, Georgia, on various projects.

Their portfolio includes tasks such as resurfacing county-maintained roads and reconstructing intersections. In 2022, Bartow Paving successfully resurfaced 12.68 miles of county roads, followed by another substantial project in 2023, where they paved 13.67 miles.

Notably, Bartow Paving’s expertise extends beyond county projects, as evidenced by their involvement in a $2.7 million contract to reconstruct the intersection of Ga. 140.

Moreover, Bartow Paving’s reputation for quality work has led to partnerships with other entities, including the Cherokee County School District, Cobb County Finance Department, and C&G Concrete Construction. This extensive track record underscores Bartow Paving’s reliability and expertise in delivering successful infrastructure projects within the region.

Besides, Bartow Paving Company, Inc. is not just a paving contractor but a symbol of commitment, reliability, and community engagement in North Georgia. Founded in 1950 by George Edward Shropshire, Sr., the company’s roots in mining and construction laid the foundation for its exceptional services in crushed stone base and asphalt paving.

Over the decades, Bartow Paving has grown into a versatile corporation, handling municipal, commercial, and residential projects with equal dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.

What sets Bartow Paving apart is its deep-rooted values in faith, family, and community. This ethos is reflected in their hands-on leadership approach, ensuring that client success remains at the forefront of their operations.

Their involvement in various community organizations like the Cartersville/Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Highway Contractors Association, Advocates for Children, and The Boys and Girls Club demonstrates their commitment to giving back and fostering local growth.

The company’s journey has been marked by strategic investments, such as establishing one of the first asphalt production plants in Cartersville, Georgia, in 1968, and later, investing in a state-of-the-art asphalt production facility in 1998.

These advancements, coupled with a focus on technological innovation and skilled personnel, have propelled Bartow Paving to a leadership position in the construction industry of North Georgia.

Managed by third-generation sons, George Edward Shropshire, III, and Charles Andrew Shropshire Sr., Bartow Paving combines decades of experience with modern expertise, ensuring a seamless blend of tradition and progress.

George Edward Shropshire, III, brings industrial engineering and construction management expertise as President, while Charles Andrew Shropshire Sr., with a background in Real Estate, serves as the Chief Operations Officer, overseeing day-to-day operations and future planning.

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