Friday, May 5, 2006
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
DULUTH - The earth didn't move Thursday afternoon, but a small-scale explosion will eventually mean traffic will move a lot better in Gwinnett.
Crews working on the largest single transportation project in Georgia history set off 47 charges in a hill along Interstate 85 south.
The explosives meant that traffic had to be halted for several minutes along the interstate, a section of Ga. Highway 316 and on the Old Norcross Road bridge over the interstate, where explosives engineers staged the sequence.
The blasting will occur around lunchtime for most of the summer, said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope, so that crews can blast away rock in the way of the project.
The work Thursday created a 200-foot groove on the shoulder of I-85 south, where a retaining wall will eventually be placed. The road bed there has to be widened to allow for an entrance lane for traffic from Ga. 316 west as well as a collector-distributor lane to take traffic directly to Pleasant Hill Road.
Theanna Edwards took a break from her work at debt-management company TSYS to watch the action across the interstate.
"I find it exciting," she said. "I thought it was going to make the earth shake, but this is progress."
According to Pope, the blasting will only occur once a day if needed. Mondays through Thursdays, it will happen about 1 p.m., but on Friday it will be pushed to noon to avoid afternoon traffic.
Next week, blasting is set to occur Tuesday through Friday.
Crews will also close lanes for other construction issues.
Monday and Tuesday, camera poles will be removed from I-85. The inside lane of I-85 north will be closed from
7 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Pleasant Hill Road to Boggs Road.
Tuesday and Wednesday,
I-85 south will be closed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Boggs Road to Pleasant Hill Road for construction on a new bridge over the interstate.