By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Plans for Hwy. 20 widening floated
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News

Those unable to make the meeting have until Aug. 17 to comment on the issue.

• Mail: Glenn Bowman, Georgia DOT, 3993 Aviation Circle, Atlanta, GA 30336

• Online:  Click HERE for link then select Forsyth, then scroll down to SR 20 widening.

• Also: The displays, environmental assessment and plans will be available for 10 days at Sugar Hill City Hall and the Forsyth County engineering department, among other locations. 

Doris Cowart traveled to Sugar Hill last week to find out how her property may be affected by a state road-widening project.

She was one of many residents of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties who packed the Sugar Hill Community Center for an informal presentation on plans to widen Hwy. 20 from Samples Road to Peachtree Industrial Parkway.

“When it affects your property, you better go check it out,” said Cowart, who lives in Forsyth. “I want to know exactly what they’re going to do.”

It is not clear when work on the road will begin or how long it may take.

State Department of Transportation representatives fielded questions about the proposal at Thursday's meeting and maps showing the route were on display.

Cowart’s property, which faces Hwy. 20, was one of many sites featured on the maps.

“It seems like at the front of our house there’s going to be an easement and I think there’s going to be a sidewalk,” said Cowart, adding that she was concerned about how much land would be necessary.

Still, she said the widening is a “much-needed project.”

“I know these little side roads need paving, but the main road people travel every day, I think that takes priority over the little roads,” she said.

According to information provided at the meeting, the corridor will be widened to four lanes with a 44-foot median. Plans also call for two parallel bridges over the Chattahoochee River.

The information also shows about 30 homes and 16 businesses likely will be displaced as a result of the project. Property owners would be compensated for their loss.

A summary of the project’s environmental study shows the proposal impacting 3,305 linear feet of streams and no wetlands.

The project, which complies with federal and state air quality standards, is included in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 2030 Regional Transportation Plan.

Mike Collins lives in the Geneva Woods subdivision off Hwy. 20.

He doesn’t have an issue with the DOT, but worries about a recommendation his homeowners association board sent to the state. He said association members who are not on the board were not notified about the matter.

According to the state’s proposal, access to the subdivision would be limited to right turn in and right turn out.

“The rub has been that the board has sent a petition into the DOT stating they want something else to happen,” he said. “That alternative would not allow us to have an entrance sign to our neighborhood.”

Collins said real estate agents have told some residents that the lack of a sign could drop their property values by up to 15 percent.

“We’re concerned about our property being devalued without our say in it,” he said.

Collins said he plans to file comments with the state addressing his concerns about the entrance. Overall, however, he thinks the project is necessary.

“It’s got to happen,” he said. “I’ve lived in this neighborhood 16 years and on Friday afternoons, traffic backs up two or three miles ...

Unfortunately in 10 years, you could have shopping centers where all the homes are.”