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Rain bogs down Cleveland Bypass project
Intersection to close 1 week late after weather delays work again
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After weekend rains, a Cleveland intersection didn’t close Monday as originally scheduled, another setback in construction of the Cleveland Bypass that is already months behind schedule.

Sunbelt Structures Inc. of Tucker is contracted to do the work on Phase One of the bypass.

Michael Williams, Sunbelt’s president, has said the project has been plagued by “rain, rain and more rain.”

Tesnatee Gap Valley Road at Ga. 115 will instead close July 13, weather permitting.

About 500 feet of the road will close so the grade of Tesnatee Gap Valley Road can be raised about 8 feet. The closure should last no more than 15 days.

“With such a significant grade change, traffic cannot continue to use the roadway as the work occurs,” said Harold Mull, Georgia DOT district construction engineer.

The detour directs traffic to continue on Ga. 115 to Wilford Ash Senior Parkway to Ga. 11/U.S. 129 to the northern end of Tesnatee Gap Valley Road.

The Cleveland Bypass calls for construction of a four-lane divided highway beginning at Hope Drive and Ga. 11/U.S. 129 and extending northwest to Ga. 115.

Work began on the $15.1 million project in August 2012, with a completion date of July 31, 2014. The date was extended to Oct. 13 because of bad weather, with a daily fine of $1,869 assessed past that date, DOT district spokeswoman Teri Pope said in May.

Then, “last fall, the contractor set a target completion date of (April 30) to open the road,” she said.

Since that time, workers have focused on paving through lanes of the bypass, Pope said. They have completed the base and binder layers, with topping still left to do, for all four lanes from South Main Street to about the halfway point, she said.

They also have been working to reset the grade of Ga. 115, where Tesnatee Gap Valley Road intersects it at a low point.

“So we’re raising the grade by 8 feet so people can see better as they approach Ga. 115,” Pope said.

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