Work could start soon on the long-awaited widening of Lanier Islands Parkway/Ga. 347 from McEver Road to Lanier Islands resort in South Hall.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has given the contractor, CMES Inc. of Norcross, the go-ahead to start the $10.4 million project.
The work calls for adding a center turn lane along the 2.4-mile stretch and adding right-turn lanes as needed, as well as a 10-foot multiuse path on one side of the road and a 5-foot sidewalk on the other.
A main feature will be a roundabout just north of where New Bethany and Big Creek roads connect with Ga. 347. A cemetery at that intersection forced the Ga. 347 realignment.
The overall project is slated for October 2019 completion.
Just when construction will start isn’t known yet. That could be determined after a “preconstruction conference” in the next two weeks, DOT district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said.
Once completed, Ga. 347 will be widened from Lanier Islands to Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway in Braselton. The entire effort was broken up in phases over several years, with Ga. 347 largely six lanes between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211.
Ga. 347 is known as Lanier Islands Parkway between the resort and I-985 and as Friendship Road between I-985 and Ga. 211.
The resort is pleased the widening project is about to get underway.
“From a transportation standpoint, it is the final piece tying us into I-85,” Lanier Islands Vice President Grier Todd said.
He particularly noted the multiuse path connections that will run the length of Ga. 347 and Ga. 211 to the interstate.
“One of the best things we ever did on the islands, when we redid the infrastructure and roads, was add sidewalks throughout the (resort),” he said. “You would not believe in the afternoons or early mornings, how many people drive in, park their cars and go walking.
“I think people are really going to take advantage of that long trail.”