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Work to improve Hwys. 53 and 369 in north Forsyth OKd
Browns

NORTH FORSYTH — Two projects in Forsyth County were part of 31 contracts totaling more than $146.6 million recently awarded by the Georgia Department of Transportation as part of the Transportation Funding Act of 2015.

Both local projects are in north Forsyth, with construction to be completed within the next few years, according to Mohamed Arafa, a spokesman for the DOT.

“The project to widen and realign [Highway] 53 in Forsyth and Hall counties and replace the existing bridge over Chestatee River (Lake Lanier) is this month’s top-dollar investment in northeast Georgia,” Arafa said.

The steel truss bridge was built in 1956 and has been deemed structurally deficient.

The entire project is valued at nearly $20 million, Arafa said, and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.

Another project in Forsyth is the resurfacing of 7.6 miles on Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369), beginning west of Holtzclaw Road and extending to Browns Bridge.

An estimated start date for the $2.5 million construction project has not been determined, Arafa said, as the state allows contractors to decide when to begin.

“The contractor just has to let us know 15 days in advance if the start of work is going to impact traffic,” he said.

The completion date for this project is Feb. 28, 2017.

The 21 counties that comprise northeast Georgia claimed nearly $30 million of the $146.6 million in construction project awards.

The projects are the result of House Bill 170, Georgia’s transportation funding bill that lawmakers passed in 2015 to address “the state’s critical transportation infrastructure needs.” The Transportation Funding Act of 2015 is expected to generate an estimated $870 million in the first fiscal year, Arafa said.

“This sustained annual revenue will be used to fund much-needed routine maintenance and capital improvements.”