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U.S. Highway 78 work expected to be finished next month

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

SNELLVILLE -- For the first time, all six lanes of U.S. Highway 78 between Stone Mountain and Snellville are open to traffic.

Officials celebrated the milestone, as the project to remove the reversible lane system on the busy thoroughfare nears completion.

"All lanes are open to traffic now, giving motorists three lanes west and three lanes east. The traffic flow is already much improved along the corridor," said Georgia Department of Transportation District Construction Engineer Randall Davis. "There is still a little work left to do but if the weather cooperates we will finish by the end of the month as planned."

Construction crews are still working on the median, which now divides traffic from East Park Place Boulevard in Stone Mountain to Ga. Highway 124, and daytime work will continue to place the final asphalt layer on the road, a press release said.

While the punch list is still being worked on, the announcement Monday is a good sign that the road upgrade, which began in spring 2008, is nearly complete, said David Stedman of the Evermore Community District.

"For commuters, for people who live in this area, a tremendous new day has dawned in terms of better access and economic development," Stedman said. "It is a great day that has taken a long time in coming."

Georgia DOT officials said the project should be finished by its Nov. 30 completion date, if weather permits.

"Thank you for your patience throughout this project," Davis said to drivers. "We appreciate you slowing down through our work zone -- that made it safer for us to work and safer for you as you drove through."