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11-27-05 Contractors Chosen by GA DOT for GA 316 and I -85 Interchange

AVOC has concern that the Engineering Companies have made a “cottage industry” out of designing highway projects for local governments. …. one can bet that huge sums of Transportation Funds have been spent on the projects (Oconee County).  The engineering and costs seem to take on a “life of their own”. 

It takes local leadership to make things happen.  Gwinnett has had that leadership in recent years.

AVOC

 

November 27, 2005

 

Contractors Chosen by GA DOT for GA 316 and I-85 Interchange

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

Improving the GA 316 – I-85 interchange will be the biggest improvement to this corridor since it was built.

 

Sure, it costs a lot of money but it is necessary for this to be a viable route to Atlanta.  Area counties should note that Gwinnett County participated in the funding.    That is the best way to attract transportation projects to one’s community.  The old days of going to Atlanta “hat in hand” and “begging” is over.   For several years, plans and participation in funding has been the new watermark.

 

AVOC has concern that the Engineering Companies have made a “cottage industry” out of designing highway projects for local governments.   Some were done in Barrow but did not seem to bring the projects on University Parkway, especially at the Georgia Club- Barber Creek Road area.

 

Oconee County’s Mars Hill Widening Project and Jennings Mill Parkway- Oconee Connector project have been in the bosom of Engineering firms since the late 90’s.  We have little on the ground to show for it.   However, one can bet that huge sums of Transportation Funds have been spent on the projects.  The engineering and costs seem to take on a “life of their own”. 

 

It takes local leadership to make things happen.  Gwinnett has had that leadership in recent years.

 

SEE:

 

10-23-05 GA DOT - Bids on GA 316 & I–85 Interchange Improvements ($00-150 Million Project)

9-22-05 Georgia DOT Plans for GA 316 – I-85 Interchange is Welcome News

8-9-05 More Talk on GA 316

7-8-05 Transportation Issues in Georgia—GA 316

5-11-05 Georgia 316, Economic Development, Money, Barrow & Oconee Counties

4-22-05 GA 316, University Parkway, Dreams, Vision and Reality

3-22-05 Time & University Parkway (GA 316) Vision Slipping Away?


The Gwinnett Daily Post

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=1&url_article_id=8892&url_subchannel_id=&change_well_id=2

 

November 22, 2005

 

Companies selected for I-85/316 project

 

By Bryan Brooks

 

LAWRENCEVILLE — The state Department of Transportation picked a duo of road building companies Monday to overhaul the Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 316 interchange.


The massive project was awarded to a joint venture between C.W. Matthews Inc. and APAC-Southeast, whose $47.4 million bid was the lowest received by the state.


The selection clears the way for work to begin on the project later this winter, although traffic disruptions will not occur until late 2006, a DOT spokeswoman said.


“What motorists will see first is the clearing of the area, the removal of trees and shrubs,” said DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope. “They’ll be creating a clean palette so construction can begin.”


When DOT received bids for the interchange work in October they were significantly higher than originally expected, and it was unknown if DOT would accept the proposals or rebid the project.


After reviewing the lowest bid, DOT concluded it was not out of line with what the project should cost.
“We double-checked the pricing to make sure we were getting the best value for the dollar,” Pope said. “We determined it was a good bid and a wise use of taxpayers’ dollars.”


The federal government is paying for 80 percent of the three-year project, while the state is picking up the rest of the tab.


The project will include 17 miles of new high-occupancy vehicle lanes on I-85 and Ga. 316, and 11 miles of “collector-distributor lanes” fronting the interstate.


In addition, 11 existing bridges will be rebuilt and two new ones added. The new spans will “fly over” the interstate and let motorists merge from the slower right-hand lanes instead of being dumped into the faster left-hand lanes.


The parallel lanes along I-85 will let motorists hop between Pleasant Hill Road and Ga. 316 without merging onto the interstate.


Also, HOV lanes on I-85 that now stop around Pleasant Hill Road will be extended to Old Peachtree Road near Suwanee.


“This great project will have a lasting impact on transportation in the entire northeastern region of the state,” DOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl said in a prepared statement.


Workers will probably begin clearing trees and bushes around the interchange and along Ga. 316 and I-85 in late January or early February, Pope said. The expected completion date for the entire project is December 2008.


No work will be done on Saturdays when the University of Georgia has home football games in Athens, Pope said.


The state project would not have started for another five years if Gwinnett County had not helped prepare for it, Pope said.


The county hired a consultant to do the engineering, and it hired a consultant to buy the right of way, which was paid for with federal dollars.


“Gwinnett County is a huge partner in this project and allowed it to get fast-tracked,” Pope said.
The junction of I-85 and Ga. 316 handles 263,000 vehicles daily.


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