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Gainesville to extend water lines prior to road widening

POSTED: January 4, 2014 12:38 a.m.

A road-widening project of the Georgia Department of Transportation means some water work has to be done by the city of Gainesville.

Matt Henderson with the city’s public utilities department discussed the project at the Thursday work session of the city council.

The proposed DOT project is to widen Athens Highway from a two-lane road to a four-lane, beginning where it intersects with Gillsville Highway and extending down to Talmo Trail. That will make the road a four-lane all the way into Athens.

“Back in 2009, DOT sent their preliminary plans to us and requested that we mark up plans showing our existing and proposed utilities, which we did at that time,” Henderson explained. “We don’t have a lot of water lines along Athens Highway at this point, but our plan is to extend mains on both sides of the road.”

The public utilities department has requested $200,000 to proceed with their plan to extend water lines. The money is for the initial design and bidding services of that project, with $75,000 reserved for any land acquisition they’ll need to do.

“It’ll be a four-lane divided median road, so we’ll have water mains on both sides which makes it easier for connections in the future,” Henderson explained.

Once the DOT begins the road widening, it will be a multiyear project. In the meantime, the department recently asked the city to firm up its plans.

“We’ve got a schedule they sent us also at that time,” Henderson said.

“I wish they could do it a little further, back this way toward town,” councilwoman Myrtle Figueras said about the widening of the road. “One thing to note ... this is one of the things that the water department has to do that DOT does not reimburse us for.”

City council will vote on the matter at its 5:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the Public Safety Complex at 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville.


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