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Ask The Times: Keeping road open, rainy weather slow pedestrian tunnel work
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The unfinished pedestrian tunnel underneath Atlanta Highway near Chicopee Village on Thursday in Gainesville. - photo by David Barnes

If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

Why is it taking so long to build and complete the pedestrian tunnel under Atlanta Highway near Chicopee Village?

Hall County engineer Kevin McInturff said multiple factors have made it a difficult project to complete.

“The primary one is that the road is being kept open to traffic the entire time,” McInturff said. “This means that the tunnel must be constructed in sections, and then, as those sections are completed, traffic is shifted onto completed sections.”

Damp soil from rainy weather has also played a role.

“Wet soils cannot be used as backfill material,” McInturff said. “And rains force the contractor to wait for the soil to dry out or haul in off-site material.”

Initial construction should be complete by the end of September, though some punch-list items will remain.

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