SOUTH FORSYTH — The Georgia Department of Transportation wants to hear from residents on its plan to widen the well-traveled section of Hwy. 9 between Peachtree Parkway and the Fulton County line.
The DOT is holding an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the gym at Vickery Creek Middle School, 6240 Post Road. There won’t be a formal presentation, but department engineers and consultants will be on hand to gather local perspectives.
“The people that use the road every day know it best,” said Teri Pope, a spokeswoman for the DOT. “We’ve got traffic data, traffic counts … and we have federal environmental law that we have to follow, along with national engineering standards.
“But what we don’t know are things like is there a family cemetery that is along the proposed path of the roadway, is there something historic there that we need to know about to protect, is it the habitat for threatened for an endangered plant or animal. The history is the hardest thing to know about a project.”
The project would transform the south Forsyth road, which is also known as Atlanta Highway, into a four-lane divided corridor with sidewalks on both sides.
It would follow the existing path, though the DOT would like to straighten some curves and flatten hills and build a new bridge over Big Creek.
The proposal is a composite of three plans that are being designed simultaneously.
“This is the very beginning of the process,” Pope said. “If we can get people input now, it’s easier to incorporate it into the development as the road plan.”
Those unable to attend the open house can send their comments on the project to Hiral Patel, State Environmental Administrator-Georgia DOT, 600 West Peachtree St., 16th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30308. All comments must be received by Oct. 3.
Project information also will be available on the DOT website, www.dot.ga.gov. On the home page, choose “information center” then “public outreach” and select the project’s county and choose “go.”
Plans and handouts can be viewed at the Georgia DOT District Office located at 2505 Athens Hwy. in Gainesville.