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Rail line to shift back on Buford Highway project

DULUTH - Don't fret; all those days of waiting in traffic at the intersection of Buford Highway and Pleasant Hill Road will soon come to an end.

The project to reconstruct the interchange will hit a milestone this weekend, when the railroad shifts back to its permanent track, said Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope.

The traffic problems caused by the railroad closely paralleling Buford Highway was one of the reasons for the $34.6 million upgrade, which includes tunneling Pleasant Hill under the highway and the track. That creates an interchange, where people use ramps to get from one roadway to the other.

"We are about two-thirds finished with the project and slightly ahead of schedule for our completion date next January," said DOT District Engineer Russell McMurry.

He also explained the railroad shift in more detail.

"A temporary track for the rail line was built and used for about a year. Crews had to build a new, longer bridge for the railroad to use," he said. "By shifting to the new railroad bridge, crews can start to remove the temporary detour bridge and then work on the retaining walls between the railroad and Buford Highway."

The work for the shift will occur this weekend, ending Monday.

For updates on the construction and other GDOT projects, go to www.ga511.org.