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Slower than expected
Road work behind schedule, but next phase coming soon

LAWRENCEVILLE - While a smooth ride through Grayson will take longer than expected to become a reality, officials are ramping up for the next phase of a planned widening of Ga. Highway 20 to Loganville.

Because of delays in moving utilities along Grayson Highway from Plantation Boulevard to Cooper/Ozora Road, transportation officials are in talks with the road contractor about extending the expected completion date, said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Pope said she did not know how far behind schedule the road crews are, but said an extension of the completion date, set for Aug. 31, 2008, would likely be approved.

AT&T and Comcast crews have not completed the moves of phone and cable lines, she said, causing the delay.

"It has slowed down the construction because the utilities are in the way of where the roadway is going," she said.

But transportation officials did have good news about the widening plan, which will eventually create a four-lane road from Cumming to Loganville.

Gwinnett County officials last week approved an agreement to begin buying land for the construction of the section from Cooper/Ozora Road south to Brand Road.

With little commercial development in the area, Gwinnett DOT Director Brian Allen said he hoped the county could finish the work in a year, so construction can begin next summer.

"This adds capacity to help with congestion in the southern part of the county," Allen said. "A two-lane roadway hasn't been able to handle the traffic that has been dumped on it for 10 years. We think it's way over due."