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Eyes on the Road: Church celebrates road progress on section of Ga. 347
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Celebration Church is doing as its name suggests when it comes to the Georgia Department of Transportation opening a portion of the new Ga. 347 in South Hall County.

The road improvements especially will benefit the church’s busy preschool.

“What we’re excited about, with that four-lane in place, is we’ll have them (enter the church) by the four-lane and exit onto Thompson Mill (Road),” said Mike Day, pastor. “Our traffic nightmare will be gone.”

When the two-lane Thompson Mill Road in front of the church was the old Ga. 347 and the only access to the campus, “we counted each day a blessing when we didn’t have a wreck,” he said. “It would just logjam right there at our preschool.”

Otherwise, with expected growth along the road, “we’re in a great place to be,” Day said.

A new driveway from the church to Ga. 347 and a new sign could be in place by Labor Day, he said.

The new segment runs in four- and six-lane stretches between Spout Springs Road and Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway. It is part of an overall 8-mile project with a completion date of Jan. 12, 2016. When the entire road is finished, motorists will be able to travel on four- and six-lane stretches of Ga. 347 between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211.

Maintenance crews mowing throughout Northeast Georgia

DOT maintenance crews are out in force this week mowing along roadsides throughout Northeast Georgia.

In Hall, the work has taken place off Ga. 52 and Ga. 284. Shoulders are closed as the work occurs.

The work also is taking place on major roads in Dawson, Habersham, Lumpkin and White counties. In Habersham, crews also are trimming weeds and spraying overgrown vegetation.

Crews are working 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through Thursday, weather permitting.

Part of road to close as part of widening work in Toccoa

The Oggs Branch end of Moore Circle in Toccoa will be closed at Ga. 17 beginning Monday as the grade of Moore Circle must be raised by 4 feet to match the grade of the new Ga. 17.

“Thankfully, Moore Circle’s other end also intersects with (Ga. 17) so people can still access anything they need to on Moore Circle,” said Harold Mull, the DOT’s district construction engineer.

Overall, the Ga. 17 widening “is going well and is on schedule,” he added.

Currently crews are building drainage structures, working on the new bridge over Eastanollee Creek and setting the grade of the new roadway, Mull said.

The 3.13-mile widening project upgrades Ga. 17 to a four-lane divided highway with sidewalks from Fieldcrest Road to Memorial Drive. The $20 million project is set for completion by April 30, 2016.

Work about to gear up on sinkhole repair project

E.R. Snell Contractor of Snellville is preparing to repair a sinkhole on Ga. 51 near Lake Hartwell.

Utility companies are almost finished moving their infrastructure, and a custommade pipe — 180 feet long and 13 feet in diameter — is ready for delivery to the site.

“The work area is tight because it is surrounded by Lake Hartwell,” District Engineer Bayne Smith said.

“Getting the utilities relocated gives the contractor a little more room to work. Since there isn’t an area to store the huge pipe at the work zone, the new drainage pipe will be delivered in sections when the contractor is ready to begin pipe installation.”

The $1 million repair includes creating a dry work area displacing Lake Hartwell water, giving the crew a place to work.

Once the new pipe is installed, crews can begin to build up dirt to the grade of Ga. 51. The final task is paving and striping the road.

The sinkhole opened up on May 6. Once the asphalt was removed, DOT engineers found a cavity 10 feet square at the top and 20 feet deep taking up almost the entire northbound lane.

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