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Two-way throughway
Improvements open on Hwy. 9
traffic downtown 3 jd
Eddie Campbell directs traffic as workers adjust the timing on traffic signals Wednesday on Hwy. 9. - photo by Jim Dean
Pedestrians must now look both ways before crossing Hwy. 9 in downtown Cumming.

After about 10 months of construction, Hwy. 9, or Pilgrim Mill and Atlanta roads, is now a two-way street between East Maple Street and Pirkle Ferry Road/East Main Street.

“It’s been a tough project,” said City Administrator Gerald Blackburn. “Any time that you’re dealing with that congested of an area, it’s just tough to get it to a conclusion, but we’re to that point and we’re glad to have it complete.”

The $885,000 project is being funded by 1-cent sales tax.

Blackburn said before the new road opened Wednesday, motorists had to go westbound, southbound and then eastbound to get around one block through downtown.

Now, traffic flows north and south, and southbound travelers can turn left onto East Maple toward Ga. 400.

There are still a few small kinks, mostly cleanup and finishing touches to work out, Blackburn said.

“They’ll be cleaning up some of the asphalt, they’ll be fixing some of the curbs, some of the sidewalks and painting arrows ... we still have some punch list items that will be done,” he said. “We should have the project totally completed and all construction off the site within a week.”

All signals in downtown will be recalibrated to improve the flow of traffic, he said.

To help motorists adjust to the new changes, the city’s police department will have officers stationed near the road.

Because school is out this week for spring break, Blackburn said the officers will likely return next week to make sure school traffic gets safely adjusted.

“We need everybody to cautiously work with us,” Blackburn said. “It should be a very productive project that’s beneficial to everyone.”