Christmas has come early for Hwy. 141 travelers.
The project to widen the corridor known as Peachtree Parkway, from Hwy. 9 to McGinnis Ferry Road at the Fulton County line, is finished. For the most part, that is.
“We are thrilled to have all four lanes opened,” said Teri Pope, Department of Transportation spokeswoman. “Traffic is flowing well along Peachtree Parkway and congestion has eased all along the corridor, even improving congestion on Ga. 400.”
Since 2006, motorists have endured seemingly never-ending congestion and construction in a $50.7 million project that was originally supposed to be finished by July 2009.
Many factors — including the weather, snags relocating utility lines and issues with the road design firm — contributed to the delay, pushing the deadline to Dec. 31.
Contractor C.W. Matthews will still need the remaining weeks to complete some punch list items along the 6.5-mile project, which is about 98 percent complete, Pope said.
“They’re just dotting the I’s and crossing the Ts,” she said.
South Forsyth resident Dan Slott is relieved to see the end of the roadwork and hopes it will lead to better efficiency with future projects.
Slott, who drives through the construction daily, started the Get 141 Done PAC and Web site last year when it was clear the contractor was nowhere close to meeting the original deadline.
“I think anybody is happy when you see the end in sight,” he said. “It was a long time getting here and I still believe the process is seriously flawed.
“So I’m hoping that our elected representatives and our officials at the DOT will take this as an opportunity to look more closely at how these projets get done, or in this case delayed, and use it as an opportunity to do better next time.”
New asphalt went down a few days before Thanksgiving and needs a full 30 days to cure before the road can be striped.
While there’s still time before year’s end, Pope said the chilly temperatures of December may not cooperate with the effort.
“We want to get a good product, not striping that doesn’t stick,” she said. “The striping can all go down in one day. It is a moving operation and goes quickly.”
In the meantime, the highway will feature temporary striping.
“The Georgia DOT wants to thank the entire community for their patience through construction,” Pope said. “This project has been long, but we will all enjoy the benefits of it for decades to come.”