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This fall, avoid Buford Dam Road
Corps plans to close crossing for a month
Buford Dam Road WEB
Roadwork along Buford Dam Road 1) Hwy. 9 to Sanders Road - Cumming plans to widen the road to four lanes with sidewalks from Hwy. 9, across Ga. 400 and Market Place Boulevard to Sanders. The project, expected to begin in the coming weeks, will close the 1.38-mile stretch of road for 90 days during construction. 2) Samples Road - Forsyth County has begun adding turn lanes at the intersection with Samples and Lanier Beach South roads. The project, which will be conducted under traffic with a pilot car guiding motorists through construction, is expected to be completed by late October. 3) Sanders Road to corps property - A pavement improvement project will rejuvenate the road from Sanders, where the city's project ends, to near West Bank Park, where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property begins. A one-foot paved shoulder will also be added to each side. The county expects the work to wrap up in late October. 4) Corps property - The 2-mile bridge stretch will be closed from Oct. 4 to Nov. 5 for pavement replacement. - photo by Joseph Miller
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to close the scenic, winding section of Buford Dam Road that straddles Lake Lanier for about a month this fall.

The 2-mile stretch will be shut down from Oct. 4 to Nov. 5 for a repavement project, said Lisa Coghlan, spokeswoman for the corps' district office in Mobile, Ala.

"There's no detour," she said. "That's the only bridge going across the dam and we're going to close two lanes."

The corps looked into leaving one lane open during the construction, but Coghlan said it was "just not safe."

She estimated the closure could add about 15 to 30 minutes to commute times.

During the closure, east-west travelers crossing Lanier can take Hwy. 369 on the lake's northern end or Hwy. 20, to the south.

The corps is one of three government entities doing work along Buford Dam Road in the coming months. The city of Cumming and Forsyth County also have projects.

The city's undertaking will widen the road to four lanes with sidewalks from Hwy. 9 to Sanders Road. Clearing for that project is expected to begin within the next few days.

The county's project is twofold. It will add turn lanes where the road crosses Samples and Lanier Beach South roads, as well as straighten out the "severe angle" at which the streets meet.

The county also plans to improve the pavement on Buford Dam Road from Sanders Road to Kenny Drive, and add a one-foot paved shoulder to each side.

The county project is expected to be complete by the end of October.

Jimmy Vaughan, city engineer for Cumming, pointed out the heavy traffic potential from the roadwork during a recent city council meeting.

"Buford Dam is going to have quite an exciting fall and winter season with these three projects going on on one single road," he said.

Staff Writer Jennifer Sami contributed to this report.