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More delays likely on Ga. 400
Work in median may run until Thanksgiving
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Forsyth County News

Ga. 400 commuters had a few construction-free weeks, but traffic delays have returned as crews with the state Department of Transportation adjust the median of the busy corridor in Forsyth County.

"They're working on the left lane at the edge of the asphalt to make sure the grade is even with the asphalt to make it a safe recovery area," said Teri Pope, a DOT spokeswoman.

"If that's too high and you run off the road, when you hit the edge of the asphalt it can make you change direction. It becomes a safety problem."

Last week, work began at Keith Bridge Road, or Exit 17, heading south to McFarland Road, or Exit 12. Once finished, the crews will switch sides and make their way north. The speed limit in the construction area has been lowered to 55 mph.

The current project comes just a few weeks after the department finished work on Ga. 400 under the Hwy. 141 bridge at Exit 13. Weather permitting, Pope expects the project to be completed by Nov. 21.

The forecast, however, calls for rain beginning tonight, with scattered showers and thunderstorms expected through Friday.

If construction does extend, the department likely will stop for the Thanksgiving holiday, from Nov. 26-30.

"They're still working southbound, but hopefully, depending on the weather, on Thursday, they'll turn around and start working on the inside lane at McFarland and work their way northbound," Pope said.

Work begins at 9 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. Pope said construction could end as early as 3:30 p.m. once crews switch directions.

"We try to work after the peak morning drive, and peak morning drive ends at 9 a.m. southbound," Pope said.

"Technically, it's definitely a fine line because Forsyth is like Gwinnett County now, and there's no time that there is not traffic on the major thoroughfares."

Despite the 9 a.m. start, traffic traveling south on the highway has been backed up daily.

Dan Monahan, who lives off McFarland Road, first noticed the backup Monday.

Monahan said he typically takes Ga. 400 from Exit 12 to Exit 9, or Haynes Bridge Road, where he said the traffic thickens traveling into Atlanta.

"It's very odd for it to be stacked up as far back as I saw it," he said. "I didn't know what they were doing, but they were hurting a lot of people's mornings I'm sure.

"But I know a lot of the cut-throughs and the back roads."

The department is using its own crews and equipment for the project, which Pope said is budgeted as normal maintenance and done on other roads throughout the state.

Because it's considered a limited access road, and drivers travel at higher speeds, Ga. 400 is a higher priority.