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Work on road has only just begun
City impact will be felt in 2011
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Forsyth County News

As Cumming, Forsyth County and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dig deeper into three separate projects, congestion along Buford Dam Road will ebb and flow.

For the city’s portion, which runs from Market Place Boulevard to Sanders Road, motorists will “notice they’ve already done some clearing and grubbing,” said Steve Bennett, assistant administrator.

“Next week, or the following week, they will start laying the storm drains,” he said.

The city is widening the road to four lanes with sidewalks from Hwy. 9 to Sanders Road.

Bennett said the city has received plenty of phone calls from residents asking why there’s traffic, but noted it’s actually the county’s widening project that’s slowing the flow.

“The different utilities are working on getting their stuff relocated,” Bennett said. “But there’s not much roadwork being done right now.

"You have surveyors out there, utility people, locators marking different utilities. But as far as disturbing the existing road, nothing is being done.”

To the east, the county is adding turn lanes where the road crosses Samples and Lanier Beach South roads, and straightening the severe angle at which the streets meet.

The county has also improved the pavement on the road from Sanders Road to Samples, and added a foot-long paved shoulder to each side.

All county projects are expected to be complete by the end of October, shortly before the corps completes its widening.

From Oct. 4 to Nov. 5, the corps plans to close a 2-mile stretch of the road that straddles Lake Lanier and crosses Buford Dam.

The repavement project will add between 15 to 30 minutes to commute times, in addition to any delays caused by the county’s project, officials have said.

There will be no detours. Motorists will have to take Hwy. 20, to the south, or Hwy. 369 to the north.

Once the county and corps projects are complete, there will be a break for motorists. But early in 2011, the city will be in full swing, Bennett said.

“Starting February and March next year, when we close that portion of the road, that’s when it’s going to be backed up,” he said.

“From Market Place Boulevard to Sanders Road, that portion of the road will be closed approximately three months.”

The city’s contractors are expected to be finished by Sept. 2011.