Doc vs. DOT on Ga. 316 work

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- When it comes to road projects, many business owners protest having to move to make room for a road.

That isn't the case with Bill Bostock, a family medicine practitioner, who has ended up in court with the Georgia Department of Transportation because of a dispute involving the entrance to his office.

With construction bids due in just over a week, officials are preparing to begin what could be a three-year-long project to transform a portion of Ga. Highway 316 in Lawrenceville.

The plans, which would convert traffic lights at Collins Hill Road and Ga. Highway 20 to interchanges, are being heralded by some as a huge safety measure for Ga. 316, which converts from limited access interstate quality to stop lights in the busy stretch.

But Bostock said safety is his concern in the plans for his office, which is located on Collins Hill Road. The entrance, he said, will be blocked by the bridge that will be built to take traffic over Ga. 316.

While Ga. DOT officials declined to comment on the situation, Bostock said right of way purchases have designed a plan to route traffic to Collins Industrial Way, then through the lot of a rival doctor, who has refused access.

"You can't solve this by saying people can drive on his property. ... I'm basically going to be put out of business," he said. "If I'm able to stay open the (patients) that come here, their lives will be at risk."

Because Bostock wanted the DOT to buy the entire property and help with relocation expenses instead of just the portion impacted by the road, the issue has ended up in court through condemnation proceedings.

"It's such a specific situation. I can't talk about the land with anyone but the property owner," said Teri Pope, a spokeswoman for the Georgia DOT. On the land acquisition process, she added, "We negotiate individually with every property owner and try to work with them to get a resolution. If we can't reach a resolution, unfortunately, we do start the condemnation process."