Motorists can soon rejoice: on Monday, Sept. 18, the final section of Ga. 400 northbound will open to traffic, a little more than two years after work began on that side.
The construction, which began in June 2015, is part of a $47 million project that, when finished, will widen the highway from Exit 12 to Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369) to six lanes total.
Hwy. 369 will become the road’s Exit 18; currently, numbered exits stop at Exit 17 – Keith Bridge Road (Hwy. 306).
In addition to constructing one lane in the existing inside median both northbound and southbound, the project also includes bridge widening over Big Creek and the Sawnee Creek portion of Lake Lanier.
In June, the northbound side of the project hit a major milestone, opening its third lane everywhere except for the bridge over Sawnee Creek, which is located between Exit 15/Bald Ridge Marina Road and Exit 16/Pilgrim Mill Road.
The final three-and-a-half mile stretch between Bald Ridge Marina and Pilgrim Mill was initially expected to open by Aug. 31, though the Georgia Department of Transportation encountered some delays.
“We were able to open this project up to traffic in sections which was a great way to help ease congestion,” said Brent Cook, district engineer of GDOT’s Gainesville office. “This project it is not a typical design bid build project; it’s an innovative design build concept and it allows the contractor to design the project while construction is ongoing.”
The new northbound lane stretches for 14 miles, and construction on the southbound side began in May 2017.
Ga. 400’s first four-mile southbound section is expected to be opened by Jan. 1, 2018.
For project information, visit dot.ga.gov/BS/Projects/SpecialProjects/SR400Widening.