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Local stretch of Hwy. 20 widening could begin this summer
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Forsyth County News

EAST FORSYTH — The third of three projects to widen a well-traveled stretch of Hwy. 20 between Forsyth and Gwinnett counties could begin this summer.

The state Department of Transportation announced Monday that it had awarded the $18.9 million construction contract to C.W. Matthews Contracting Inc.

The firm will handle the widening to four lanes of a 2.75-mile stretch of Hwy. 20 between Samples and James Burgess roads. The project completion date is Nov. 30, 2016.

C.W. Matthews is also handling the other two related projects:  a 1.07-mile stretch from James Burgess in Forsyth to Burnett Trail in Gwinnett, which includes new bridges across the Chattahoochee River; and a 3.71-mile project from Burnett to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Work on the Burgess-to-Burnett portion, projected to cost about $10.2 million, began in June and is slated for completion by May 31, 2016. According to the DOT, the new bridge will be south, or downstream, of the existing structure.

The Burnett-to-Peachtree Industrial portion is being managed by Gwinnett’s transportation department. The project also began in June and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2016.

Rudy Bowen, a member of the transportation department’s board, described Highway 20 as a “critical east-west route.”

“The roadway is also a regional corridor, as one of three [such] state routes crossing Lake Lanier,” he said in a statement. “The widening of this section … will enhance traffic movement and safety for pedestrians as well as motorists.”

When work is finished, the 7.5-mile stretch will be a divided highway with sidewalks. It will also, as Bowen pointed out, provide motorists with a four-lane route between Ga. 400 and Interstate 85.

Highway 20 is currently four lanes from Ga. 400 to Samples in Forsyth and from Peachtree Industrial to I-85 in Gwinnett.