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Eyes on the Road: Ga. 400 travel could get a bit easier today
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Ga. 400 commuters in Forsyth County will get some relief starting today.

The Georgia Department of Transportation had expected to wrap up weekend work, including widening and extension of the entrance ramp from Abernathy Road to Ga. 400 north and an additional lane on Ga. 400 north from the McGinnis Ferry Road overpass to the Big Creek Greenway Bridge.

“These projects will improve the overall operation of Ga. 400 north by enhancing efficiency and increasing capacity,” DOT Commissioner Keith Golden said.

“The longer and wider ramp from Abernathy Road allows more vehicles to merge onto 400 more quickly. The additional 2 miles of a third lane on 400 north will aid motorists traveling farther into Forsyth County.”

The project had been set for a Jan. 31 completion.

“Improving traffic flow and doing it ahead of schedule is our holiday gift to (motorists),” Golden said.

C.W. Matthews Contracting of Marietta was the contractor on the nearly $3.4 million project, which was funded by the State Road and Tollway Authority’s excess toll revenue as one of 12 Ga. 400 improvement projects.

When Ga. 400 opened between interstates 285 and 85 in 1993, state officials originally said they would remove the tolls as soon as construction was paid off. That promise, if fulfilled, would have ended the tolls last year.

But in late 2010, state officials issued new bonds backed by the toll revenue that would fund a new connector between 400 and I-85, among other improvements. The new bonds wouldn’t be paid until June 2017, state officials said.

In July, nearly two weeks before a sales tax referendum for transportation that failed in nine of 12 Georgia regions, Gov. Nathan Deal vowed to end tolls on Ga. 400 by end of 2013.

Area roadwork includes mowing

Area road maintenance projects are continuing in Northeast Georgia.

According to the DOT, shoulder repair is planned along Interstate 985 in Hall County, vegetation work is planned on Ga. 136 and Ga. 53 in Dawson County, and shoulder repairs are set for Ga. 369 and Ga. 371 in Forsyth.

Also planned: mowing on Ga. 52 east in Lumpkin County, mowing on Ga. 356 in White County, and vegetation work along Ga. 82 and Ga. 53 in Jackson County.

Crews will work 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather permitting.

Most of the work will only require shoulder or median lane closures. Motorists are advised to slow when approaching these areas.

DOT crews also are expected to be out in force on I-85.

One group will work in northbound and southbound lanes cleaning drainage structures and repairing ruts along the edge of pavement from milepost 126 to 137 and from milepost 166 to 177.

Another one will work on the I-85 bridge over Indian Creek, which is south of Ga. 320, with the bridge work requiring one lane to be closed.

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