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Chamber, DOT team up for road construction forum

POSTED: February 29, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Georgia Department of Transportation crews grade the roadway bed next to Interstate 985 North on Friday morning as work continues on the project.

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It seems like everywhere you drive in Northeast Georgia, major roads are under construction. That may continue for some time.

The status of these projects, as well as new ones on the horizon, will be the topic of the Annual Transportation Forum set for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Gainesville State College.

Sponsored by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the Georgia Department of Transportation will be on hand. Mike Evans, the DOT board chairman and 9th District representative, will be joined by Russell McMurry, engineer for the DOT’s Northeast Georgia district.

The program is open to the public, but reservations are required. The cost for the program, which includes lunch, is $14 for chamber members and $20 for guests. The program will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the college’s Continuing Education Building.

Those attending the forum at the Oakwood college likely will have to contend with one of the major road projects in the region, which isn’t expected to be completed for another two years: Exit 16 off Interstate 985. The project to revamp the interchange is more than halfway finished, with an expected completion date of February 2010.

Some construction projects currently under way in Hall County:

The Exit 16 project connects with a project to widen Winder Highway (Ga. 53) from Blackshear Place to Tanners Mill Road (Ga. 211). The project, which will add a four-lane, divided highway with a 44-foot-wide median, should be complete by the end of 2008.

The DOT has nearly completed a project that creates a four-lane, divided highway on Dawsonville Highway (Ga. 53). In addition to work on retaining walls and side roads, a final top layer of asphalt will be applied to the length of the project. The $30 million project spans from Lake Ranch Court to Duckett Mill Road.

The DOT is adding a left-turn lane at I-985’s Exit 22 to U.S. 129 into Gainesville and another left-turn lane for those turning onto I-985 southbound from U.S. 129. The project should be complete by the end of summer 2008.

DOT is constructing a barrier in the median of I-985 from its beginning at Interstate 85 to its end at Exit 24.

Future projects planned in the region include the Sardis Connector, widening of Ga. 369, Ga. 60 and Ga. 11 to four lanes, widening and improvements to Memorial Park Drive and Skelton Road, and replacement of the bridge on Ga. 284.


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