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Widening of Castleberry Road coming along
castleberry
This section of Castleberry Road will deviate from its current path, removing a sharp uphill curve. Officials are aiming to have the work finished by the end of June. - photo by Jim Dean

CUMMING — There are certain growing pains, mainly traffic, associated with road widening projects. But Forsyth County officials hope those who travel one local road won’t be feeling them much longer.

Work to widen Castleberry Road southeast of Cumming began in February 2015, with the project looking to finish by June 30.

The widening is one of several road projects being funded through 1-cent sales tax revenue.

“It’s widening Castleberry Road from the [Cumming] city limits at Hutchinson Road down to Bethelview Road to a four-lane median-divided highway that has an urban section with curb and gutter and a five-foot sidewalk on one side and a 10-foot multi-use path on the other,” said Tim Allen, the county’s assistant director of engineering.

Vertical Earth Inc. is handling the nearly $14.3 million project, which the county commission approved in December 2014 after years of planning and discussion.

The widening was first approved by voters as part of a 1-cent sales tax referendum in 2003. The county then conducted design and right-of-way acquisition for the project using money from previous sales tax collections.

In addition, the state Department of Transportation gave the county $1 million in 2014 to jump-start the project.

According to Allen, traffic flow in the area should improve once the effort, which will tie into another widening effort, is completed.

“The capacity on the roadway is being doubled,” he said. “The widening that we’re doing now will connect to the [four-lane expansion] of Bethelview Road, which is being widened on to [Hwy.] 20.”

As with several other local government projects, heavy rain last year has the Castleberry widening a bit behind schedule. Allen said the county has given the company rain day extensions.

“Utility relocation delays have played a little bit into it as well, but we feel like we’ll be finished mid-summer of this year barring any unusual weather,” Allen said.

Allen also pointed out that the road’s speed limit is lower while work has been going on, and urges drivers to watch their speed.

“It’s a curvy, twisty road to begin with, but there’s a lot of equipment, barrels and workers close to the roadway,” he said. “So driving through there at any other higher speed is really not safe.”

Once the project is completed, the road will return to its normal speed limit of 45 mph.