3 road projects OK'd for Gwinnett

LAWRENCEVILLE - Three long-awaited Gwinnett County projects will move forward with stimulus funding, as construction contracts were awarded Friday.

The projects include the reconstruction of the Ga. Highway 324 bridge, the widening of which was delayed even after crews widened stretches of the road on both sides from two lanes to four lanes.

The new bridge over Interstate 85 will be built by Strickland and Sons Pipeline Inc. of Gainesville, at a cost of $11,234,933.29. It is expected to be completed by the end of May 2012.

The Georgia Department of Transportation also approved a nearly $11 million contract to widen Ga. Highway 20 from Ozora Road to Brand Road in the Loganville area. The contract, to be completed by the end of 2011, was awarded to Gary's Grading and Pipeline Company, which is based in Lawrenceville.

Another local company, E.R. Snell Contractor, was awarded the contract for the 2.6-mile extension of McGinnis Ferry Road from Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road to Satellite Boulevard. The $20.4 million project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2011.

"We've injected more than $250 million into Georgia's economy to create and save jobs for our citizens while at the same time make important safety, capacity and maintenance improvements to our highway system," Georgia DOT Commissioner Vance Smith said. "And there is more progress to come as we move into Phase Two stimulus projects."

Gwinnett Chairman Charles Bannister said he was glad to hear the $42 million in contracts were awarded.

"We're anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get moving, build those bridges and put people to work," he said.