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DOT plans to pave Jeffersons MLK Drive
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The dirt portion of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jefferson is on the Georgia Department of Transportation’s list for improvement. - photo by BRANDEE A. THOMAS
DOT open house
What: A public information, open house meeting to discuss plans to pave the dirt portion of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jefferson.
When: 4-7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Jefferson Civic Center, 65 Kissam St.
More information: After the open house, plans for the project will be available for review at the GDOT District office located at 2505 Athens Highway in Gainesville and also online at www.dot.ga.gov. Public comment must be received by Aug. 28 in order to be considered during final planning phase.

JEFFERSON — Driving along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Jefferson is pretty much smooth sailing, until you hit the trouble zone.

When you reach it, you’ll know it immediately — dust will fly, rocks will ping off the undercarriage of your vehicle and if you aren’t careful you just might get stuck if it has rained recently.

The condition of the road has sparked the interest of state officials and they are taking a look at paving the dirt portion of the road, which runs from Galilee Church Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.

“We have been meeting with the (Georgia Department of Transportation) off and on about this project for some time,” said Jeff Killip, Jefferson Public Works Department director.

Tuesday, the state Transportation Department will hold a public information open house to outline plans for the project.

According to Killip, the meeting will be the first opportunity for the public to review and comment on the plans.

The meeting will be held at the Jefferson Civic Center on Kissam Street from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and will not include a formal presentation. Instead, interested parties are invited to drop in and review the plans and leave written comments if they so desire.

“The plan is to realign and pave the dirt section of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive,” said Russell McMurry, GDOT district engineer.

Although the state has plans to upgrade a portion of the roadway in the largely residential area, there are no plans to widen the road from two lanes, said McMurry.

The project will be a combined effort between the city, GDOT and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Public comment must be received by Aug. 28 to be considered in the final development stages of the project. After the open house, plans will be available for review at the GDOT office on Athens Highway in Gainesville and also online.

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