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Traffic fix is near
Work to ease in-town flow
paving at dq 3 jd
Jose Florian uses a backhoe to level an area. - photo by Jim Dean
What goes around will not come around much longer.

Crews need only a few days of good weather to put the finishing touches on the downtown Hwy. 9 project, which will allow traffic to flow through the city of Cumming instead of around it.

“It will increase the flow of traffic around the whole downtown area, because then you’ve got the north and southbound traffic,” said Gerald Blackburn, city administrator.

“In the past, you had to go westbound and southbound and then back eastbound to get around that one block section there.”

The $885,000 project will turn Pilgrim Mill/Atlanta Road into a two-way street through downtown.

A fourth lane is being added between East Maple Street and Pirkle Ferry Road/East Main Street. The additional lane will allow travelers to head south as well as north.  

Sidewalks are being installed and southbound travelers will be able to turn left onto East Maple toward Ga. 400.

“That will be a tremendous improvement as far as the traffic flow,” Blackburn said. “It will also make that entrance to Ga. 400 by Bald Ridge Marina Road much more accessible because there’s not an easy route to get to Ga. 400 from that general area right there.”

Crews are milling, or smoothing the rough spots, along the road. All that remains after that will be paving, striping and adding the signals where the road meets East Maple and Pirkle Ferry.

The finishing touches could be completed within one work week if the weather cooperates, Blackburn said.

The project was expected to be completed in December, but poor weather has caused delays.

Once the work is finished, Blackburn said the city will balance the unworkable days against unnecessary delays with the contractor, Merritt Construction.

“But right now, our majority priority is getting the project completed,” he said. “We’re dependent upon the weather ... we can get through with three straight days of sunshine and [temperatures] above 50 degrees.

“We’re going to need three days and we’ll get them.”