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DOT work is on hold for holiday
Work to be halted from 5 a.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Tuesday
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Ga. 365 resurfacing

Those who would like to receive weekly email updates on the $19.2 million project can contact Teri Pope at or 770-718-3924.

Georgia motorists may curse the congestion, but at least they can celebrate freedom from road construction as they travel the state this July Fourth holiday.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended work, starting at 5 a.m. Friday and lasting until 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Crews still may work near highways, and "incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route," DOT spokesman David Spear said Tuesday.

The break in work could benefit Hall County area residents mulling travel plans, as the DOT is resurfacing Ga. 365 and working on a toll express lane project on Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County.

Crews are working overnight on Ga. 365 for now but plan to switch to a daytime schedule at some point after the holiday.

The $19.2 million project is taking place between Ga. 52 in Hall to U.S. 441/Ga. 17 in Habersham County — a 21-mile stretch that "is crumbling from decades of use," said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the DOT's Gainesville-based District 1.

Motorists will get a smoother road in the end, but they'll have some inconveniences until then — such as uneven pavement, lane closings and slower speeds.

The completion date is June 30, 2012. However, weather permitting, the contractor, C.W. Matthews Contracting of Marietta, is planning to finish the entire project by Sept. 30, Pope has said.

The toll road project involves converting a 15-mile stretch of high-occupancy vehicle lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes from Chamblee-Tucker Road in DeKalb County to Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett County.

Under the new system, cars carrying three or more people will be able to travel in the HOT lane for free, as is the case now with the HOV lane. People driving solo or with one other passenger will be able to drive in the lane for a toll that's based on the level of I-85 congestion at the time.

"Overhead signage is the focus of work now," Pope said.

"To install the signs, crews are working overnight closing lanes and pacing traffic."

The improvements are part of a $110 million U.S. Department of Transportation Congestion Reduction Demonstration grant Georgia received in 2008.

Other area projects include new sign installation on Interstate 985 and Ga. 98 intersection improvements in Jackson County, Spear said.

Meanwhile, another DOT project, construction of the final stretch of the four-lane Thurmon Tanner Parkway in Oakwood, remains still as the DOT and contractor work out a final timetable.

The $16 million project was supposed to be completed by Dec. 31 but got snagged by issues concerning paving and traffic light installation. A new completion date may be released soon, officials have said.