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5-2-05 Major GA DOT Projects Underway in Area But Not Oconee County

Athens Banner-Herald: ….. projects in the Athens area

 • U.S. Highway 441, widening from the Clarke County line north to the Commerce bypass. Now under construction; scheduled for completion in March 2007.

• U.S. Highway 129, widening from Lavender Road in Athens to the Jefferson bypass. Now under construction; scheduled for completion in December 2006.  

AVOC

 

April 23, 2005

 

GA DOT Major Projects Underway in Area But Not Oconee County

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

In recent trips to Commerce and Jefferson, I observed much grading and road work going on for U. S. 441 and 129.   Both are being four-laned and both offer I-85 access to Athens area citizens.  This will speed up the trip to Atlanta for many people.  It will also promote more and bigger commercial development.

 

These same roads, along with GA 15 and GA 53 run through Oconee County.  Not much is taking place in Oconee County on any of them.   A few years ago, as Oconee Commission Chairman, I took some regional chiding about all the road projects being in Oconee County, i.e.: GA 316, U S 441 from south of Watkinsville to the Loop; Epps Bridge Parkway etc..

 

While such projects are funded and engineered by the State DOT, they can be influenced by local legislators and officials.   That is how we got the Interchange at GA 316 and U.S. 78, bridge and Interchange at GA 53 and Watkinsville By Pass; Sidewalks and urban design on the Oconee end of Epps Bridge Parkway, the current local hot economic development spot in the area; etc.  It took persistence and commitment of some local resources.

 

For years, we pressed for completion of U S. 441 from Watkinsville to Madison and I-20.   GA 15 needs widening and improving for much of the coastal and east Georgia traffic.

 

Our local representative has been very outspoken on GA 316 and tolls.   He represents Oconee County and  part of Morgan County, where U. S. 441 is still an unsafe death trap.  Local officials need to get behind the U S 441 South widening project.   Also, GA 15, a route to Jekyl Island, Savannah, Jacksonville, etc is lagging in Oconee County.  It is on the southern most end of the Gainesville DOT District 1.  It needs some aggressive local support.

 

Transportation and upgrading main corridors is absolutely necessary in our mobile society.  Without it, gridlock and commercial stagnation can occur.  

 

We should not let time and opportunity get away from Oconee County.  Pursuing road improvements takes effort and diligence.  We need more of that right now.


The Athens Banner-Herald           April 16, 2005

http://onlineathens.com/stories/041605/new_20050416022.shtml

 

Several road work projects scheduled for this summer

 

Lane closures inevitable

From Staff Reports

 

………."We've already begun more than $78 million in work, and by the end of the year, that number likely will be in excess of $ billion," said Vicki Gavalas, ……..

Here are the projects in the Athens area - and some on highways that area residents frequently travel - that could make for slow going this summer:

U.S. Highway 441, widening from the Clarke County line north to the Commerce bypass. Now under construction; scheduled for completion in March 2007.

U.S. Highway 129, widening from Lavender Road in Athens to the Jefferson bypass. Now under construction; scheduled for completion in December 2006.

Georgia Highway 172, bridge replacement. Scheduled to close Tuesday between Georgia Highway 72 and Georgia Highway 98 in Madison County. Scheduled completion in January 2006.

Georgia Highway 11 at Broad Street in Winder. Reconstruction work scheduled to start in June.

• Georgia Highway 124. Resurfacing scheduled to start in July from Georgia Highway 53 in Barrow County west to Georgia Highway 20 in Gwinnett County.

• Georgia Highway 17. Widening from Interstate 85 to the Stephens County line scheduled to start in June.

• Georgia Highway 316 at I-85 in Gwinnett County. Interchange reconstruction scheduled to start this fall.


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