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Eyes on the Road: Clean Georgia appears on Interstate 985

POSTED: September 16, 2012 11:39 p.m.

The Sponsor-A-Highway program has come to Interstate 985 in Hall County.

A bright blue “Clean Georgia” sign featuring Georgia’s state bird, the brown thrasher, is at the Exit 20 northbound ramp at Ga. 60/Candler Road.

“This is a new program for Adopt-A-Highway-style litter pickup on the interstates where a sponsor hires a company to do the litter pickup for them,” said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s District 1, which includes Hall County.

“Volunteers are not allowed on interstates because of the potential danger, so this company will do that for a fee and meet all of the federal requirements to work inside the interstate rights of way.”

In May 2011, former DOT commissioner Vance Smith Jr. sent a letter to community leaders seeking their participation in the Sponsor-A-Highway program in metro Atlanta.

Businesses can sponsor litter removal on designated state highways, and a DOT-approved vendor will do the pickup at least 12 times a year, Smith said.

“The program provides for cleaner highways and fewer safety hazards for the traveling public,” he said.

The DOT has sponsored with Adopt-A-Highway Maintenance Corp. on the endeavor.

There are about 30 such sponsorships statewide, Pope said.

DOT plans to mow I-985 from Gwinnett County to Exit 24

The DOT is stepping up maintenance activities in Hall County this week.

Motorists should keep an eye out for mowing along Interstate 985 between Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County and Exit 24, work that is projected to take place Wednesday through Friday.

Also planned is mowing on Ga. 13, Ga. 60, Ga. 52, Ga. 332 and U.S. 129/Ga. 11; asphalt patching on Ga. 13 and Ga. 53; and drainage pipe installation on Ga. 13.

Crews also plan to restripe faded pavement markings on Ga. 60 and Ga. 11 Business in Gainesville. “Lane closures will occur as this work occurs at each location,” according to a DOT press release.

Work hours are 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m., weather permitting.

Employees win awards at DOT Appreciation Day

A Jefferson man was honored at the DOT’s recent District Employee Appreciation Day with the 2012 Commissioner’s Achievement Award for outstanding customer service and positive impact through his daily job duties.

Mike Johnson has worked with the department since 1987. He worked his way up through the ranks from his initial engineering technician job.

He now serves in maintenance as the environmental compliance engineer, coordinating contractors’ work with internal work and construction projects.

“His cross-training and understanding of many aspects of DOT’s mission has made him an asset within DOT,” Commissioner Keith Golden said.

Also, at the appreciation day, Dan Auge of Statham was honored with the 2012 Commissioner’s Merit Award for outstanding customer service and excellence in his daily job duties.

He has worked with the DOT since 1989. He worked his way up through the ranks from his initial maintenance laborer position. He now serves as permit inspector, coordinating commercial driveway permits with contractors and the DOT.

“He has become known as Mr. Dependable while working one of our busiest counties, Gwinnett,” Golden said.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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