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Pilgrim Mill roadwork progressing
Project to wrap by December
paving 2 jd
Luiz Garza scrapes the last of the hot asphalt off the back of a dump truck.
Workers will be closing some of the roads around the East Maple Street intersection with Atlanta Road on Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. each night. 
Eventually, traffic will flow along Cumming’s east side on wider, smoother roads.

In the meantime,  however, city officials urge motorists to be prepared and patient.

By December, work on Pilgrim Mill/Atlanta Road will be complete, allowing motorists to travel south on the road. Currently, traffic flows only north.

Portions of the road are finished or nearly finished, but City Administrator Gerald Blackburn said they won’t be reopened until all work is complete.

Traffic will continue to be slow through the area, but not stopped.

“We’ve got to get all of that traffic flowing, because if we open up part of it and it’s not all ready to go, then we’ll have to close it back up,” Blackburn said. “There won’t be any changes along the path until the signals and the striping are done.

“We’re a little ahead of schedule, so hopefully we can get that going in November. But if it rains a bunch between now and then, it’s going to be December.”

The $885,000 project, which includes the addition of sidewalks and traffic signals, is being funded with money from a previous 1-cent sales tax.

The federal government is footing the bill for a nearby project with stimulus money.

Eight road resurfacing projects, totaling nearly $1.5 million, are planned throughout the county.

Three of those are within city limits: Pirkle Ferry Road from Hwy. 9 to Bald Ridge Marina Road; East Maple Street from Hwy. 9 to Bald Ridge Marina Road; and Bald Ridge Marina Road from Pirkle Ferry Road to East Maple Street.

During a recent city council meeting, Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said the three are “some of the priority roads that we have sent in.”

“The state came up and measured the roads for us and agreed to do this out of stimulus money that the federal government sent to the state,” he said.

The resurfacing project will start where the widening project ends, Blackburn said.

“We don’t know exactly what the time frame will be [for bidding the project], but it should be by the end of the year,” he said.

“This is stimulus money and it was for shovel-ready projects, which could get the money flowing in a hurry, so that’s why we expect it to be done very quickly.”