Preliminary survey work on the Cleveland Bypass’ first phase is set to start this week, weather permitting.
One piece of equipment “with a small crew begins this week as control points are set for construction,” said Bayne Smith, district engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation.
“Clearing the path of the bypass will likely begin late August or early September.”
The DOT is working with the city to schedule a groundbreaking ceremony, Smith added.
The $16.8 million project calls for building a four-lane road from Hope Drive at U.S. 129 to Ga. 115 west of Cleveland, a two-mile stretch.
The project’s completion date is Dec. 31, 2014.
The new road is expected to alleviate congestion that builds up on U.S. 129 heading into downtown Cleveland, especially at rush hour and during fall weekends as tourists stream through the Georgia mountains.
A second phase calls for the road to run from Ga. 115 to U.S. 129 at Hulsey Road, or about two miles.
Teri Pope, a Hall County-based DOT spokeswoman, has said that the third, 1.1-mile phase would connect to Ga. 75 on the north side of town, headed closer to Helen.
Phase two is estimated to cost $21 million and phase three, $9.7 million.
“We do not have construction funds set up for either of those two phases,” Pope said.