Work approved for long-awaited Ga. 20 widening

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gary Pirkle knows that the next few years will be tough for Sugar Hill residents.

But after waiting a decade for construction to begin on the biggest bottleneck around, the mayor said residents are excited to learn that work will begin on widening Ga. Highway 20 in northern Gwinnett.

Commissioners approved Tuesday a $31.8 million contract with C.W. Matthews Contracting Company for the job, which widens the highway to four lanes from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to Burnette Trail.

Along with a recently approved state contract that continues the widening across the Chattahoochee River and into Forsyth County, the project will bring to fruition a dream of expanding the highway to at least four lanes throughout Gwinnett.

"We can't wait for it to happen. We needed it 10 years ago," Pirkle said. "It will help everyone that drives that stretch of Highway 20 get to their destination quicker, but more importantly it will help everyone that lives on Highway 20 get home safely.

"It will be difficult to manage while the construction is taking place and it will change the look of our city with many recognizable homes and businesses being torn down, but in the end the short-term pain will be worth the major gains that the road widening will provide," he added.

Gwinnett Transportation Director Kim Conroy said work would likely begin in about a month and take about three years, although the contract allows for a fourth year to complete the punch list on the project.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners agreed to apply for a $250,000 state grant to fund the widening of another stretch of the highway. The county aims to add a third lane in each direction between Interstate 985 and South Lee Street in Buford, he said, adding that reallocated sales tax funding will make up for the remaining $650,00 needed for the project, which does not require any additional land.


ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 4 months ago

{{"Work approved for long-awaited Ga. 20 widening"}}

...Well it's about [freakin'] time.


RosieW 2 years, 4 months ago

I agree with my Mayor that it will be tough, but very happy that work will be starting soon. Also happy to read that Hwy. 20 will be widened to three lanes in each direction from S. Lee St. to 985.


FordGalaxy 2 years, 4 months ago

Like every other road project the state or county tackles, this road will be too small by the time they complete the work. The population, especially the driving population, grows every year. The DOT has simply failed to keep up with demand.

Look at the rest of GA20, between Buford and Lawrenceville. Almost any driver will tell you that the road is too small to accommodate the things that have been built (Mall of Georgia, CoolRay Field, 12Stone, etc.). Given how long the 20/316 work is taking, I'm guessing the DOT and the county want a traffic jam from one side of the county to the other.


Linda 2 years, 4 months ago

traffic on Ga 20 would move a whole lot faster if the county would synchronize the traffic lights.


FordGalaxy 2 years, 3 months ago

Linda...why do something as easy as synchronizing traffic lights when you can instead levy a tax on everyone and claim you'll use the incoming revenue for road work?


ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 3 months ago

Traffic on GA 20 also would move faster if the state constructed separated-grade intersections on GA 20 at P'tree Industrial Blvd and Buford Hwy while widening GA 20 to 6 lanes between the I-85 junction in Buford and the GA 316 junction in Lawrenceville.


SuxBeanU 2 years, 4 months ago

This whole matter would be moot had previous gutless politicians voted in the northern arc. Oh well, you can't fix stupid.


ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 3 months ago

Previous politicians (specifically, former Governor Roy Barnes and the Democrats) did support the Northern Arc and got thrown out of power head-first by a bunch of angry voters and replaced with Georgia Republicans who understandably equate any support of the unpopular Northern Arc with certain political death after seeing what happened to the Democrats after they supported it.

There are too many very-powerful and well-connected people with large and powerful anti-Northern Arc/anti-Outer Perimeter constituencies opposing the Northern Arc for it to ever be built.

This is particularly the case in Forsyth and Cherokee counties where the right-of-way of the proposed road was intentionally filled with high-end residential development so as to make construction of the unpopular road physically and politically impossible.

This is also the case in Bartow County where the ultra-powerful and affluent Rollins Family (of pest control fame) continues to successfully lead the ongoing local effort to block the Georgia Department of Transportation from constructing the unpopular I-75/US 411 Connector (a northwestern remnant of the former Northern Arc) through their land which includes some historic sites and prime land in the form of heavily-wooded mountain ranges.


ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 3 months ago

Because construction of the Northern Arc is a political impossibility (and has been since 2002), the long-delayed widening of the 2-lane GA 20 into a divided 4-lane highway is more than likely the best that we'll ever get.


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