Ga. 20 pipe relocations determined

LAWRENCEVILLE -- With work expected to begin very soon on a long-awaited widening of Ga. Highway 20 in Sugar Hill, county officials arranged for the moving of water and sewer pipes in the way.

State transportation officials are set to open bids today for the widening of the highway's bridge over the Chattahoochee River, and the county will advertise for bids for the stretch from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to the river within the next six weeks, Gwinnett DOT Director Kim Conroy said.

But a deal approved by commissioners Tuesday means the county will save money on the pipe relocations.

In a rare move, the state agreed to pay for the pipes to be moved in the longer stretch through Sugar Hill, said Water Resources Deputy Director Ron Peters.

Usually, the utilities are responsible for the move of their lines, Peters said, but the state agreed to pay for other utilities because of funding issues, so the county requested the same.

The county DOT has agreed to oversee the construction contract for the state, but the state will pay the approximate $3 million in pipe relocation costs along with the construction, Peters said.

The bridge relocation, however, will be built through a state contract. The county will pay for the small amount of pipes to be moved there, according to the agreement. Peters said he expects that to cost about $350,000, but commissioners will consider a dollar figure once the bids are determined.

Peters said the county leaders were glad the state agreed to bear the cost of utility relocations, an occasion that has only recently occurred when federal stimulus dollars paid for intersection improvements on U.S. Highway 29 in Lilburn.

"Because that money was budgeted for a DOT relocation project, it allows us to apply it to additional projects," he said.