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Paving work starts today on Ga. 365
Project involves resurfacing a 21-mile stretch
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The $19.2 million resurfacing of Ga. 365 in Hall and Habersham counties is set to begin today.

The Georgia Department of Transportation project will take place on a 21-mile stretch connecting Ga. 52 in Hall to U.S. 441/Ga. 17 in Habersham.

Motorists will get a smoother road in the end, but they’ll have as some inconveniences until then — such as uneven pavement, lane closings and slower speeds.

“The damaged asphalt will be removed to a depth of 4-8 inches the first night of work,” District Engineer Todd McDuffie said. “The next night, crews will replace that asphalt except for the top inch to inch and a half. That will leave uneven pavement between the lanes until the asphalt is replaced.”

Work is planned every night, with lane closures taking place overnight only through June.

After July Fourth, crews will work weekdays except during peak travel times.

The contractor, C.W. Matthews of Marietta, can close southbound lanes anytime except 5-9 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays and northbound lanes anytime except 4-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

One lane in each direction may be closed each weekend.

Southbound work is allowed to begin Fridays after morning rush hour at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the weekend to 5 a.m. Mondays. Northbound work is allowed to begin Fridays after evening rush hour at 9 p.m. and continue throughout the weekend to 4 p.m. Monday.

“The work plan for resurfacing has changed,” said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Gainesville-based District 1. “Work hours have been lengthened to save money and encourage the contractor to finish the work as soon as possible.”

Weather permitting, C.W. Matthews is planning to finish the entire project by Sept. 30.

The contract completion date is June 30, 2012.

Work zones will stretch 3 miles at a time, with speed limits dropping in those areas to 55 mph, McDuffie said.

“Every fine (for speeding) ...  in a work zone is doubled,” he said.

“We’ve seen people pay over $1,000 for tickets they receive in a work zone, so for our safety, your safety and your budget, please slow down in every work zone you encounter,” McDuffie said.