Widening of Satellite Blvd. finishes up

LAWRENCEVILLE - Just in time for the holiday shopping season, a two-year project to widen Satellite Boulevard near Gwinnett Place Mall is essentially complete.

Last week, crews cleared the traffic cones and barrels along the road, although they will return after the new year to complete punch-list items, said Gwinnett Transportation Capital Program Management Director Alan Chapman.

"We worked hard to get all the lanes open and the signals turned on before Thanksgiving," he said.

The project, which widened the road from four lanes to six lanes from Steve Reynolds Boulevard to Old Norcross Road, cost $4.56 million.

Chapman said it's a key component to plans to increase mobility in the mall area. The county previously widened Club Drive and Steve Reynolds, and the widening of Pleasant Hill Road from Steve Reynolds to Buford Highway is scheduled for late next year.

"It's a nice way to get around that area without getting on Pleasant Hill, which is so congested," Chapman said. "It's a good way if you don't like driving on the interstate."

Joe Allen, the director of the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, said relieving traffic will help boost business in the area.

"It's one of the major roadways," he said of Satellite. "Anything that can be done to keep traffic flowing will encourage people to come to the area. ... That's helped a lot with traffic flow through the holiday shopping we had last weekend."

As part of the project, crews installed sidewalks on both sides of the boulevard, where the major hub of Gwinnett Transit is located.