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.