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Kelly Mill Road closing
Improvements coming to busy stretch
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Drivers negotiate a sharp curve on Kelly Mill Road that will be straightened during a road improvement project. Part of the road will close beginning Monday. - photo by Jim Dean

Beginning Monday, a 2.6-mile stretch of Kelly Mill Road will be closed to through traffic as part of an extensive makeover of the corridor.

The closure, which will extend from Bethelview Road to the Cumming city limits, is expected to last until Aug. 5.

Residents of the busy road will be able to drive along temporary pavement during that time, said Tim Allen, the county’s assistant director of engineering.

"You may be delayed or there might be a lane closure," Allen said. "If you’ve been using it as a cut-through, if you live down south, you might want to go on up to [Hwy.] 20 into town or take Castleberry [Road] and not go through the construction."

The roadwork is scheduled to wrap up in time for the first day of the 2011-12 school year on Aug. 11.

Following the closure, work will continue until the expected completion date of Nov. 20.

Several improvements will be made to Kelly Mill during the project, including: adding left and right turn lanes at Chamblee Gap Road and straightening three curves.

In addition, the project will lower a hillcrest, widen travel lanes and shoulders and install guardrails.

All the improvements, especially the straightening of some sharp curves, will enhance safety on the road, Allen said.

The county has hired Blount Construction to complete the work at a cost of about $2.6 million, which will come from the current 1-cent sales tax revenue.

The Forsyth County Board of Education also agreed to reimburse the county for about $308,000 in roadwork associated with construction of Kelly Mill Elementary School, which is expected to open in 2012.

The road will also play host to part of the planned Big Creek Greenway extension, which is expected to run from the Bethelview trailhead along Kelly Mill up to Johnson Road.

That project could go out for construction bids in the fall, Allen said, which means work could begin in late 2011.

"We’re just not there yet," he said. "What we’re doing now is being done to accommodate the future trail project."