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Road work to close Buford Dam Road this fall
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CUMMING - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to close the scenic, winding section of Buford Dam Road that straddles Lake Lanier for about a month this fall.

The 2-mile stretch will be shut down from Oct. 4 to Nov. 5 for a repavement project, said Lisa Coghlan, spokeswoman for the corps' district office in Mobile, Ala.

"There's no detour," she said. "That's the only bridge going across the dam and we're going to close two lanes."

The corps looked into leaving one lane open during the construction, but Coghlan said it was "just not safe."

She estimated the closure could add about 15 to 30 minutes to commute times.

During the closure, east-west travelers crossing Lanier can take Ga. 369 to the north or Ga. 20 to the south.

The corps is one of three government entities doing work along Buford Dam Road in the coming months. The city of Cumming and Forsyth County also have projects.

The city's undertaking will widen the road to four lanes with sidewalks from Ga. 9 to Sanders Road. The project will close the 1.38-mile stretch of road for 90 days during construction. Clearing for that project is expected to begin within the next few days.

The county's project is twofold. It will add turn lanes where the road crosses Samples and Lanier Beach South roads, as well as straighten out the "severe angle" at which the streets meet.

The project, which will include a pilot car guiding motorists through construction, began this week and is expected to be completed by the end of October.

The county also plans to improve the pavement on Buford Dam Road from Sanders Road to Kenny Drive and add a 1-foot paved shoulder to each side. The county project is expected to be completed by the end of October.

Jimmy Vaughan, city engineer for Cumming, pointed out the heavy traffic potential from the roadwork during a recent Cumming City Council meeting.

"Buford Dam is going to have quite an exciting fall and winter season with these three projects going on on one single road," he said.

Times regional staff writer Jennifer Sami contributed to this report.

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