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Eyes on the Road: DOT hearing set this week on Dawson bridge
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The Georgia Department of Transportation has scheduled a public information open house to discuss the proposed detour in the rebuilding of the Ga. 136 bridge over the Etowah River in Dawsonville.

The meeting is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Dawson County Professional Development Center, 30 Main St., Dawsonville.

There will be no formal presentation, but DOT engineers will be available to discuss the proposed project and detour details.

The existing bridge was built in 1965 and does not meet current design standards, according to DOT.

The bridge is 196 feet long, 26 feet wide and does not have shoulders. The new bridge will be 240 feet long and 40 feet wide, featuring 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders.

The detour will allow construction to move much faster and cost much less than if traffic continued to use the bridge while a parallel structure was built, DOT officials said.

Expected to be in place for about nine months, the proposed 10.8-mile detour will involve Ga. 136, Ga. 9, Ga. 53 and Ga. 400.

After the meeting, residents can view the displays of the project at the DOT district office at 2505 Athens Highway in Gainesville.

The plans are also available here. On the home page, choose “Information Center,” then “Public Outreach” and select the project’s county and select go.

A list of DOT projects in that county will appear and you can select the one you would like to view. Newer projects are at the bottom of the list.

Dawsonville roundabout project underway near courthouse

Dawson County has a DOT project that has just gotten underway.

Work has started on transforming the roads around the historic courthouse in downtown Dawsonville into a roundabout.

The change is expected to improve the flow of traffic through the area and increase safety, officials said.

Concrete and asphalt work are taking place at Ga. 9, Ga. 53, Dahlonega Street and Ga. 9 north approaching the courthouse.

A crew is set to arrive Wednesday, removing existing striping and restriping the roundabout. Work is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is expected to take two days to complete. Delays are expected as the striping occurs, with officials suggesting motorists avoid the area if possible.

“Roundabouts can dramatically improve safety when compared to traditional four-way intersections,” District Engineer Bayne Smith said.

A study of 23 intersections converted to roundabouts showed a decrease in total crashes by 39 percent, a decrease in injury crashes of 76 percent and an 89 percent decrease in fatal crashes, Smith said.

Gainesville checks condition of traffic signs throughout city

Gainesville officials are stopping to take a closer look at all traffic signs.

Traffic Engineer Dee Taylor said signs should be clearly visible to drivers and pedestrians.

“We are conducting an inventory to make sure signs are easy to see and not overgrown with any kind of landscaping,” he said in a news release last week. “We are asking homeowners to report signs in the right of way near their homes that need attention, and (to) encourage homeowners not to plant too close to city signage.”

Officials are also looking for signs that are faded or broken.

Residents should report problem signs to or call 770-535-6890.

State transportation luncheon to take place this Wednesday

The Georgia Transportation Alliance and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the 2013 State of the Ports Luncheon & Transportation Conference on Wednesday.

The event, set to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Westin Buckhead Atlanta, will include panel discussions about the role of transportation in economic development, current statewide planning efforts and best practices from other states.

The annual State of the Ports luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m., featuring a discussion by Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz.

A water authorization bill passed by the U.S. House in October calls for $461 million to deepen the Savannah port, a project Georgia officials have long clamored for.

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


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