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Evermore district celebrates end of Highway 78 work

STONE MOUNTAIN -- The Evermore Community Improvement District celebrated a 7 1/2-mile stretch of highway Saturday.

U.S. Highway 78 from Snellville to Stone Mountain, now dubbed the "commerce corridor," has undergone what speakers Saturday morning repeatedly referred to as an "extreme makeover," one that included medians to replaced a sometimes confusing reversible lane system, an automated traffic management system to control congestion, backlit street signs that improve visibility and aesthetic improvements that CID board members said just make the transportation corridor look nicer.

Following more than 2 years of construction, local, state and federal government officials joined the CID and the state and county departments of transportation to celebrate the project's completion with a "grand reopening" Saturday.

More than $60 million was spent between acquiring right of way, construction and design.

"It's really our largest safety project to date," said Keith Golden, with the Georgia DOT. "We've never spent that much money on a safety project in the state of Georgia.

Hopefully this is a great example of people working together, the community working together, local government working together, business working to balance the need ... for mobility and economic development in the state."