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Eyes on the Road: DOT holds 2nd public meeting on HOT lanes on Thursday
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The second of two public meetings on a project that would bring high occupancy toll lanes closer to Hall County is set for 5–7 p.m. Thursday in Braselton.

The meeting, taking place at Braselton Police and Municipal Court Building, 5040 Ga. 53, will address a plan to extend the HOT lane system, also known as Express Lanes, up Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County from Old Peachtree Road to Hamilton Mill Road.

The first meeting was held Monday in Duluth.

Unlike the existing HOT lanes on I-85, the new Express Lanes would involve building new lanes, rather than converting existing high occupancy vehicle lanes.

The current lanes, one in the northbound lanes and one southbound, run between Old Peachtree Road and Chamblee-Tucker Road in DeKalb County.

The 10-mile extension also calls for a new bridge to be built over Interstate 985, which runs to Gainesville.

“The managed lanes in Gwinnett County, which would be part of a larger Express Lanes system throughout metro Atlanta, are intended to help manage congestion and improve mobility along the corridor,” according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

And like the current lanes, the new ones “will be tolled on a dynamic pricing system, meaning that when congestion and demand for a free-flowing ride is heaviest, the tolls will be higher.”

At the meetings, area residents and commuters will be able to view area maps and displays, as well as provide comments and discuss the project with DOT staff. No formal presentation is planned.

All comments will be considered in the development of the final project design and must be received by Oct. 13, officials said.

After the open house, residents can view the project displays at the DOT district office at 2505 Athens Highway, Gainesville.

Contractor, DOT still discussing Cleveland project finish date

A completion date has yet to be set on the long-awaited Cleveland Bypass in White County.

The DOT is still negotiating with the contractor, Tucker-based Sunbelt Structures, said Teri Pope, the DOT’s district spokeswoman.

The $16.8 million project, originally slated to finish Dec. 31, had been hampered by rainy weather since construction began in 2012, Pope has said.

Some 100 inches of rain, or an average of 8-plus inches per month, fell on the project last year, and 5.55 inches fell in January and February, she said.

Last winter also presented obstacles with record low temperatures, as well as bouts of snow, sleet and ice.

The project calls for construction of a four-lane divided highway around the western side of Cleveland, from U.S. 129/Ga. 11 to Ga. 115.

The new road will be 2 miles in length.

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

jgill@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/jeffagill

@JeffGTimes

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