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Gwinnett officials to handle Ga. 20 widening construction

LAWRENCEVILLE — With construction coming soon, Gwinnett officials were given the lead on a project to widen the last local two-lane stretch of Ga. Highway 20.

Commissioners agreed to a deal this week making the local government the construction manager for the Ga. Highway 20 widening through Sugar Hill, taking over from the state government.

Officials worked out a deal in the past allowing the county to take the lead on the right-of-way acquisition process, using $39 million in state and federal funds. Likewise, the state will pay the $30 million in utility relocation and construction costs, but the county officials will perform the oversight.

“One major benefit to the county handling the bidding and construction inspection is our detailed familiarity with all aspects of the project as we managed the engineering and right-of-way acquisition for the project,” Gwinnett Transportation Deputy Director David Tucker said. “This would allow us to hopefully deliver the project smoothly and efficiently.

Gwinnett Transportation Director Kim Conroy said the county will be responsible for $2 million for construction monitoring and field testing as part of the construction management. But the county had budgeted $3 million to move water and sewer lines — a tab the state will now pay, allowing the funds to be freed up for the construction management work.

“This is a win-win for both agencies,” Conroy said.

Tucker said about three-quarters of the 200 land parcels needed for the Sugar Hill area project have been either closed, under option or in condemnation. About 15 percent, he said, have gone through condemnation proceedings.

Officials expect to receive bids early next year for the 3.75-mile project, which will widen the road to four lanes from east of Burnette Road to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Gwinnett officials have worked with the state for a decade to widen sections of the highly traveled highway, which bisects Gwinnett. The stretch in Loganville, on the opposite side of the county, recently opened to traffic.

A separate project would widen the bridge over the Chattahoochee River, while Forsyth County officials are working with the state to continue the widening in its jurisdiction from James Burgess Road to Samples Road.

Comments

CitizenX 2 years, 2 months ago

Bad idea. Putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Now we get to see friends of friends get contracts to spend taxpayer money.

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notblind 2 years, 2 months ago

They should have rammed through the much needed outer perimeter 5 years ago. Then projects like this would probably not even be necessary.

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NewsReader 2 years, 2 months ago

5 years ago? The outer perimeter was shelved almost a generation ago because of the politicians and their friends who had interests in adjacent lands. It was a huge conflict of interest. Now look at the path for the Sugarloaf Parkway extension and see that if follows that same path. And this project would have been necessary anyway as it was a problem more than 20 years ago, let alone today.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

The width of Hwy 20 was a problem the moment they finished constructing it. It also doesn't help that, for several years, Gwinnett County was one of the fastest growing counties in the nation.

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Sandykin 2 years, 2 months ago

Every time I've had to commute to Cumming and back, I've hated it because I've had to sit in that parking lot known as Highway 20. Glad to see that it will be widened to accomodate the traffic load it bears.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

If I have to go to Cumming, I prefer to take Buford Dam. It's a nicer, prettier drive than Hwy 20. Plus, in my experience, it's actually quicker because you avoid the "parking lot."

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NewsReader 2 years, 2 months ago

Well, that was a well kept secret...until now....LOL!

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, NewsReader, most everyone I talk to prefers Hwy 20. Buford Dam is "too twisty," they say. Then again, I prefer a twisty road. Plus, few, if any, big trucks.

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CD 2 years, 2 months ago

I have some old, yellow paint in my garage, about two gallons, that I can sell the county for 50,000/GL. Disclaimer: I don't own a pawnshop.

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