Officials set to open first stretch of Sugarloaf extension

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett's first glance of the Sugarloaf Parkway extension will happen Tuesday.

Officials will cut a ribbon to open the first stretch of the six-mile extension linking Ga. Highway 20 to Ga. Highway 316 south and east of Lawrenceville.

The first portion, about two miles from the Ga. 20 intersection to New Hope Road, is several months ahead of schedule.

"I think it's a great improvement that will help mobility in the central and eastern part of the county," Deputy Transportation Director Alan Chapman said. "As a stand-alone project, it'll help a good bit of local traffic, and when we open the entire road, it'll really be a good improvement for traffic in the area."

The last work of the $23.5 million project was striping the lanes, and Chapman said that concluded Friday.

After a 3 p.m. ribbon-cutting Tuesday, workers will turn on the traffic signals at Ga. 20 and New Hope and move barriers to allow traffic on the road, he said.

By the end of 2012, Chapman said the entire extension to Ga. 316 should be open.

Officials are still working toward building a second extension linking the route at Ga. Highway 316 to the north and west to meet Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, creating a loop around Lawrenceville. While state officials have recently talked about creating the extension as a toll road, the proposal has not been approved.