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Improvements planned for Ga. 400

Repaving up north; technology in south

POSTED: July 13, 2012 7:15 a.m.
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Work is scheduled to begin soon to resurface Ga. 400 from Hwy. 306 in north Forsyth to Hwy. 53 in Dawson County.

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Work is scheduled to begin soon on two projects at opposite ends of Ga. 400 in Forsyth County.

The first, slated to start this fall, is a $3.25 million effort to resurface the road from Hwy. 306 in north Forsyth to Hwy. 53 in Dawson County.

According to the state Department of Transportation, the project will be a quick one, with contractor C.W. Matthews Contracting Inc. slated to finish before December.

The second project, which likely will begin later in the fall, is bringing more technology to the highway.

Georgia’s Intelligent Transportation System, or ITS, will be extended north along Ga. 400, from McFarland Road to Hwy. 20.

The system includes cameras, overhead signs with digital messages and connection to the state’s navigator system for real-time traffic information.

DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the resurfacing in north Forsyth “doesn’t mean the road will be fine forever,” but it should help smooth the ride.

To help with traffic flow, Pope said the repaving will be done largely overnight on the following schedule:

• Southbound lanes — 5:30 p.m.-5:50 a.m. weekdays and 5:30 p.m. Friday through 5:30 a.m. Monday on weekends.

• Northbound lanes — 8 p.m.-8 a.m. weekdays and 8 p.m. Friday through 8 a.m. Monday on weekends.

“One lane will always remain open,” said Pope, adding that there won’t be any lane closures during major travel holidays such as Thanksgiving.

To the south, the $1.65 million undertaking to install the ITS will alert drivers to the traffic conditions.

The cameras will allow motorists to see current traffic conditions from a computer, while the sensors will provide traffic count information and lane speeds.

That information will also be posted to the overhead signs, letting motorists see how long it will take them to travel a certain distance.

Pope said the installation “will be great to improve getting information to people before they get stuck in a back-up.”

“I’m really excited about it,” she said. “We have apps that will send you information on the corridor you choose … using technology to improve our customer service.”

Work on the system, which is not expected to disrupt commuters, is slated to wrap up by July 31, 2013.

“This project will not have much impact to traffic at all as this is fiber, cameras, sensors and signs not concrete and steel,” she said. “The fiber optic cable will be run along the outside shoulders of 400 and work will require shoulder closures.

“There will likely be slowing caused by drivers watching the work occur. The only time the lanes of 400 will be closed is overnight to install the overhead signs and cameras.”

 

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