For some, in recent weeks, traveling south on the 3.5-mile stretch of Ga. 400 past Exit 13/Hwy. 141 to Exit 12/McFarland Parkway has turned desperate.
From angry drivers laying on their horns to deputies monitoring the Exit 13 on-ramp to keep cars from turning around on the one-way as they’ve been reported doing, summer has been filled with asphalt and slow speeds on the weekends.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has some bad news for southbound commuters: the lane closures will remain in place as crews work to widen the road.
“Southbound work is still going on, and the [third] lane is starting to be paved in certain portions,” said Katie Strickland, a spokeswoman for GDOT, “but the work hours and lane closures should stay the same for [a while].”
Every Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Ga. 400 will be reduced to one lane in the southbound direction, with the closures remaining in place from 7 p.m. on Friday through 5 a.m. on Monday.
The construction 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.
That work is nearing its end, Strickland said.
“All northbound work should be complete by Aug. 31,” she said. “We were ahead of schedule for the paving, but with the bridges and some environmental issues and the fact that the paving happened so quickly, it looked like we were falling behind, but we’re actually right at where we hoped to be at this time this summer.”
Southbound work, from Exit 14/Cumming to Exit 12 is expected to be complete in April 2018, with all southbound work — including shoulder work — finished by October.
For project information, visit dot.ga.gov/BS/Projects/SpecialProjects/SR400Widening.