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Closure inconvenient, but no major issues
Work along Buford Dam will last through summer
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Forsyth County News


Debbie Carpenter said she and her staff didn't notice much difference in traffic last week despite the closure of a nearby road.

"It hasn't seemed to be an issue really," said Carpenter, site manager at Medica Forsyth, a medical imaging center on Sanders Road.

Sanders is serving as one of the main detours while a stretch of Buford Dam Road is closed for the next four months.

The other routes include Market Place Boulevard, Mary Alice Park Road and Hwys. 9 and 20.

The closing of Buford Dam Road, from Sanders to Market Place in Cumming, is required so crews can install a new culvert.

While Carpenter said the detour hasn't caused much disturbance, she said going out for lunch has become a little more challenging.

"We're having a harder time ... you have to go a little more out of your way to get down there [to Market Place]," she said. "It's kind of like going past your elbow to get to your knee."

City Administrator Gerald Blackburn said crews will be monitored to make sure the project progresses as quickly as possible.

"We know it's a major inconvenience for a large number of people," he said. "That's why we plan to work closely with [contractor C.W. Matthews] to make sure the work gets done on time."

Blackburn said everything went "pretty well" this week, although some bad weather "moved in on us" and caused some slight problems.

"The weather always comes up on projects like this," he said. "We appreciate everybody being understanding."

Blackburn said the city hasn't received many complaints about the closure, something he attributed to "word getting out real well" ahead of time.

Becky Buck, who lives on Sanders Road, agreed.

"The warnings were far enough in advance that it was OK," she said.

"So far the closing of Buford Dam has caused more traffic, but nothing that's been terrible," she said. "If the weather was warm, we would probably have more traffic due to the Mary Alice Park."

The closure is part of a larger project, one that will eventually widen Buford Dam Road up to four lanes and install sidewalks from Sanders to Hwy. 9.

It's projected to cost about $3.8 million, with about $1.8 million coming from the state.

Construction on the other side of the highway, from Market Place to Hwy. 9, will be going on during the same four-month period as the closure.

However, it won't require a shutdown. Rather, it will involve one-lane traffic and the use of flagmen leading cars.

The total project is expected to be complete by the end of September.