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McEver Road project could start by midsummer
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Hall County is getting closer to a $2.7 million rebuilding of McEver Road from Flat Creek Road in Oakwood to Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway in Buford.

The county is accepting bids through June 24, with officials hoping to award the project to a contractor on July 10. The bid package also involves work on Fullenwider Road, East Lake Drive and Gould Drive.

If all goes as hoped, the project could get underway in late July or early August.

The completion date is Dec. 31, but the work could be finished sooner. And the 8-mile McEver project — the biggest part of the bid package — could take six to eight weeks to complete, Hall civil engineer Jody Woodall said.

The project involves “full-depth reclamation,” which involves pulverizing existing pavement and blending it with the base underneath,” a recycling process of sorts.

“In this case, cement powder will be added to provide additional strength,” Woodall said.

According to the Portland Cement Association in Washington, D.C, “the recycled base will be stronger, more uniform and more moisture-resistant than the original base, resulting in a long, low-maintenance life. And most important, recycling costs are normally at least 25 to 50 percent less than the removal and replacement of the old pavement.”

Further, “There’s no need to haul in aggregate or haul out old material for disposal. Truck traffic is reduced, and there is little or no waste.”

Motorists, however, can expect delays as heavy equipment, or a “reclamation train, basically “rolls down one side of the road, then turns (around) and rolls down the other side of the road,” Woodall said.

In terms of traffic interruption, however, “it won’t be any different than when we’re doing our resurfacings,” he said. “We’ll have to run a pilot truck (that guides traffic down the open lane) or something like that.”

And with reclamation, “we are rebuilding the road instead of just the riding surface, (as done) in resurfacing,” Woodall said.

“Given the amount of patching that would be required prior to resurfacing, the cost of resurfacing would be very comparable to the reclamation project.”

Funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant program and the county’s special purpose local option sales taxes would pay for the work.

McEver is showing signs of wear, with long asphalt cracks up and down the roadway.

“There’s a high volume of traffic out there and it’s really getting to where it really needs (repair),” Woodall said.
The project also will involve adding paved shoulders, he said.

Oakwood completed a similar project in 2012 on a 1.2-mile stretch of Old Oakwood Road between Mundy Mill and Mountain View roads.

That project cost about $200,000, with the city using $45,000 in two years’ worth of the state’s LMIG grants.

“It’s a lot more environmentally sensitive in that you’re not disposing (of) raw material,” Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said at the time.

McEver Road will be the scene of much road construction this year.

Work is taking place at McEver’s intersection with Ga. 347, as the DOT widens Ga. 347 to four lanes between McEver and Interstate 985.

That work is set for a Nov. 30 completion.