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GDOT to accept bids for U.S. Highway 78 median

LAWRENCEVILLE - A project that will put a median on U.S. Highway 78 has been put out for bids.

Brett Harrell, executive director of the Evermore Community Improvement District that encompasses the seven-mile stretch of highway, said he expects heavy work on the project will begin by the end of June or beginning of July.

Now, contractors are reviewing the project and preparing bids. The Georgia Department of Transportation will then take 30 to 60 days to evaluate proposals for what Harrell called the largest safety construction project in GDOT history.

"We're very excited," Harrell said. "We've been working a couple of years to get to this point."

The project will be done in four phases, beginning at the county line and ending at Ga. Highway 124, with each expected to last about six months. Harrell estimated it will cost about $30 million.

In addition to constructing a permanent median where there is now a reversible lane system, right and left turn lanes will be added and traffic flow improved through light synchronization. Jessica Daron Court will be extended, providing a parallel road to U.S. 78, sidewalks will be added and the road will be landscaped. Street signs will also be illuminated.

Harrell said the project will have 15 intersections with traffic lights and eight other breaks in the median. That should quell the concerns of some businesses worried a median would limit access to them, he said.

During the construction phase, three lanes will be open on U.S. 78 going into Atlanta and two will be open headed to Snellville. Once construction begins on one of the four phases, the reversible lane signs will be taken down, Harrell said.

"You'll get to work on time, but it's going to be a little slow coming home," he said.