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Turn lanes on Exit 22 will double its capacity
Georgia Department of Transportation crews grade along the entrance ramp to Interstate 985 north at U.S. 129 Monday afternoon as the interchange reconstruction project gets underway.
GAINESVILLE — Lane closures started Monday on Interstate 985 and U.S. 129 for a road widening project that should last well into the summer.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is adding left turn lanes at Exit 22 of I-985 to make room for more vehicles on the road, said DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope.

Once the $1.64 million project is complete, there will be two left-turn lanes for those exiting I-985 at Exit 22 and heading toward Gainesville.

"Now, there’s only one lane, so we’re doubling the capacity to turn left into Gainesville," Pope said.

The project also calls for two left-turn lanes and a new traffic signal for travelers entering I-985 southbound from U.S. 129 at Exit 22.

"It will help congestion on 129, as well as allowing more people to get onto 985," said Pope. "It’s really going to help a lot more people flow through this interchange."

"Right now, there’s no signal, and you’ve got to wait for days to be able to turn onto 985 South," Pope said.

The construction of the left-turn lanes and the addition of the traffic signal should be complete by July 31, Pope said.

"We will not be working during peak drive times. We won’t be in your way during the morning and evening rush hour," Pope said. "But we will be in your way during the day, every sunny day ... from now until completion."

Pope described the project as a "Band-Aid" to ease the flow of traffic until the DOT completely rebuilds the interchange.

The DOT plans to move the exit ramps to make them more like the ones at the new Exit 17, but has not finished designing the project nor acquired the necessary money.

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