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Roadwork on I-985 Exit 22 should clear up soon
Josh Anderson, 18, a Highway Services Inc., employee, measures out a sign that will be placed at the 985 entrance ramp Wednesday. - photo by SARA GUEVARA
Road construction work has made traveling around Exit 22 at Interstate 985 a little more challenging in the past couple of months, as frequent motorists to the area have discovered. But work is winding down as road crews put the finishing touches on the project.

The state has completed adding turn lanes at the entrance and exit ramps at I-985 and U.S. 129. Also, workers have finished adding turn lanes in the median that take motorists traveling northbound on U.S. 129 to the southbound and northbound entrance ramps.

The $1.6 million project is on pace to be completed by its July 31 deadline, said Mark McKinnon, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"Really, the only thing left to do is working on the signals, getting those up and (running)," McKinnon said. "And they’re doing some work on the guardrail, and then they’re going to put some grass in for erosion control."

Traffic flow has been stalled a bit for those heading toward the exit from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, about a mile from the interstate. A Gainesville crew is working on a sewer line that has forced closing the road between U.S. 129 or E.E. Butler Parkway and Eberhart Street.

"We have a cracked pipe or minor blockage, and we’re trying to find out exactly what’s going on there," said Kelly Randall, Gainesville’s Public Utilities director.

"I realize it must have blocked some traffic by closing the intersection, but it had to be done."

Elsewhere in the county, a new traffic light at Chestatee and Sardis roads in Northwest Hall County will become fully functional within a week. Motorists should see a blinking yellow light at the intersection in the meantime, McKinnon said.

The signal change is part of a larger project involving the widening of Sardis Road from Dawsonville Highway to Chestatee Road.

The state is planning eventually to extend the four-lane road to Thompson Bridge Road in North Hall as part of the 3.59-mile Sardis Connector, costing an estimated $22.5 million.