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Canton Highway widening open house on Monday

If you go

* What: Hwy. 20 widening project informational open house
* When: Monday, May 8, 5-7 p.m.
* Where: Otwell Middle School, 605 Tribble Gap Road

WEST FORSYTH -- The first of two public meetings on the widening of Canton Highway (Hwy. 20 west) between Cumming and Canton, and the only one in Forsyth County, will be held next week.

On Monday from 5-7 p.m., the first meeting on the project to widen the road along its existing route from I-575 in Canton to just west of downtown Cumming will be held at Otwell Middle School.

There will be no formal presentation at the event, and displays at both locations will be identical. Attendees will be able to review the project and get information on changes to the plan since the last public open house in December.

Among the largest of the proposed changes are the widening of the road to six lanes, the re-routing of certain roads and the removal of many left turns in favor of R-cuts, which officials have said are safer than the alternative.

An R-cut, also called a Michigan left, is a design requiring going straight or making right turns at intersections, meaning those turning left will first make a right before going to a designated U-turn.

The plan had previously proposed re-routes around downtown Cumming, which were dropped after input from the community.

A series of public meetings were held in September 2015 on analyses to improve the 24-mile stretch of highway, which has been years in the making and gone through a handful of options.

Hwy. 20, a major east-west thoroughfare for the northern edge of metro Atlanta, has long been associated with “congestion, limited mobility and safety issues.”

The proposed improvement process began in 2007, when GDOT announced a plan to widen Hwy. 20 that included three separate projects and would begin as federal funding became available.

Six years later, that approach was scrapped in favor of a single, regional project spanning 24 miles.

Previously, officials have said construction could start in 2022, with designs targeting growth projections for 2045.

A second public hearing will be held at Calvary Baptist Church at 137 Hightower Road in Ball Ground on May 16 from 5-7 p.m. Otwell Middle School is located at 605 Tribble Gap Road.

A copy of the plan and more information is available at