Lavonia Welcome Center to Receive Renovations

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Facelifts are planned for Georgia’s Welcome Centers, including the one in Lavonia on Interstate 85.

Recently, the State Transportation Board’s Gateways Committee voted to recommend the renovation of Georgia’s Welcome Centers.

Officials said no amount or scope of work has been determined yet for the Lavonia Welcome Center.

According to Georgia Department of Transportation Spokesperson Jill Goldberg, the Department does not know what the exact renovations will be at any of the Welcome Centers at this time.

Goldberg said that the DOT is in the process of developing the specs for a request for proposals, or RFP, from consultants who have experience in this area. She added that once the RFP is issued later this year, she suspects it will take the consultant a number of months to visit each of the facilities and create a plan for them.

The Gateways Committee committed funds to the effort from the revenues collected from the Georgia LOGO program. The Georgia LOGO program offers businesses advertising along highway interchanges through placement of their name and logo on signs approaching exits.

The program is currently operated by Georgia Logos under a five-year contract and generates revenue of approximately $3.3 million annually.

That money is paid to the Transportation Department’s gateway reserves, which fund various highway beautification projects statewide. Current reserves are being set aside to begin the Welcome Center renovations.