Work to Start on Costliest Road Project

Wed December 07, 2005 - Southeast Edition

ATLANTA (AP) The quarter-million people who drive the intersection of Interstate 85 and GA 316 every day will be getting some relief, but they’ll have to put up with 40 months of construction first.

After decades of planning, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) on Nov. 21, accepted a $147-million bid to rebuild the Gwinnett County interchange — likely the largest single contract in DOT history.

The reconstructed interchange will add flyover bridges and multiple other new bridges and lanes at the busy spot between metro Atlanta and Athens. In all, more than 30 mi. of new lanes will be added.

Motorists probably will not see contractors begin work until 2006, according to the DOT. Bill Hammack, president of C.W. Matthews, said contractors will try to get done as quickly as possible to minimize lane closures.

“We’ve built several jobs of this complexity, but probably this is about as high profile a job as we’ve ever been involved with,” he said. “We’ll be very conscious of traffic flow and safety on this project.”