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Overhead signs are coming to I-985
Motorists should expect some delays until this afternoon
Georgia Department of Transportation workers prepare the area of the base for a new overhead sign near Interstate 985 Exit 16 Tuesday. - photo by Tom Reed

Interstate 985 is getting some new overhead exit signs, a first for the Hall County part of the highway, as part of an ongoing $2.1 million sign replacement project in Hall and Gwinnett counties.

Crews worked Tuesday and are set to work today pouring concrete footings to support the new structures, said Teri Pope, spokeswoman in the Georgia Department of Transportation's Gainesville office.

The northbound left lane in two stretches will be affected: milepost 14, or 2 miles south of Ga. 53/Mundy Mill Road, to milepost 16, or just north of Ga. 53/Mundy Mill Road; and Exit 20, or Ga. 60, to Exit 22, or U.S. 129.

The work is scheduled to take place until 3 p.m. today, and motorists should expect delays.

The type of sign being put up "is more like what
(motorists) are used to seeing farther south on (Interstate) 85," Pope said, adding that another such sign is at Exit 4 on I-985 in Buford.

The exit signs are being moved to the overhead position for "better visibility," she added.

The new signs are part of an effort to replace all directional signs along I-985 in Gwinnett and Hall counties. Sheets Construction Co. of Locust Grove is the contractor.

The project began in the spring, with crews steadily working to replace the 10-year-old interstate signs.

The old signs may have looked "fine during the day, but in low light conditions, they (were) difficult to see," Kathy Zahul, state traffic engineer for the DOT, said at the time.

The new ones are "more visible from a longer distance, allowing motorists to read them from farther away."

Also, in doing the work, the state is
"keeping up with new (federal) specifications that we're required to use," Pope has said.