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Wider McGinnis nearly set
Road project has taken four years
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Forsyth County News

It’s not over yet.

For a couple of weeks, traffic has been flowing along McGinnis Ferry Road at the Forsyth-Fulton County line.

But construction crews are still working alongside the bustling corridor to complete the project, which is a year past deadline.

"All the lanes are in their final configuration," said Mark McKinnon, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. "I think people are already seeing an improvement in the traffic out there because we do have the lanes where they’re going to be for good.

"There is still some sidewalk work and stuff like that which has to be done, but it’ll be off the roadway."

While a specific completion date hasn’t been set, McKinnon said he’s shooting for the end of the month.

The $39.4 million project widened 5.243 miles of the road, much of which serves as the county line, from two to four lanes between Sargent Road and the Chattahoochee River.

Construction began in August 2007, with the original completion date set for July 2010.

Citing external delays, the DOT issued an extension to contractor C.W. Matthews, giving the company until April 30.

"It was really based on the utility delays at the beginning," McKinnon said. "The utilities took quite a bit longer than anticipated … there were two to three power companies, two to three cable companies — there were 17 utilities that had to be relocated.

"The utilities were the biggest challenge on this project."

When C.W. Matthews couldn’t meet the extended deadline, company representatives asked for another extension, which the DOT denied.

Since May 1, the firm has been fined $1,000 per day.

The fines, expected to exceed $100,000 will be taken from the DOT’s final payment to the contractor when the project is completed.

"They’re still getting fined $1,000 a day right now because the sidewalk isn’t done," McKinnon said. "They’re going to get it done as quickly as they can to avoid the fines."