The widening of Athens Highway/U.S. 129 in East Hall now has a Feb. 11, 2022 completion date, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The project, which began in August 2016, originally was scheduled for completion in 2020 but ended up getting delayed a year because of “significant utility” issues, officials said in 2020.
Facing an Aug. 31, 2021 deadline, contractor Pittman Construction sought another 260 days, or eight-plus months, that would have taken the project well into 2022.
GDOT agreed to a 6-month extension, or until Feb. 11, district spokeswoman Melodii Peoples said Friday, Oct. 15.
The contractor has cited numerous reasons for delays, including “utilities, inclement weather and materials,” according to GDOT.
This $45 million project would complete the four-lane connection between Gainesville and Athens. It calls for widening U.S. 129 from Gillsville Highway/Ga. 332 in East Hall to Talmo in Jackson County.
The road is considered a vital truck/commerce route as it connects Interstate 985 and Interstate 85, especially with GDOT widening I-85 from four to six lanes between Ga. 53 and U.S. 129.