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Concrete panel installation complete in Winder

Winder’s “highway for life” is now in place.

Road crews finished installation overnight Wednesday of concrete panels on Broad Street, intended to add years to the life of the city main street compared to the usual asphalt road resurfacing.

“I am excited to see the work progressing so quickly,” Winder Mayor David Maynard said of the project, partially funded through a federal “Highways for Life” grant. “I think completion of the panel installation is a major milestone for this project.”

But leaders noted that the milestone does not mean that the construction zone will lifted, as plenty of work is left on the $5 million project.

An around-the-clock lane closure will continue for two to three more weeks, Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope said, as the contractor G.P.’s Enterprises finishes building the curbing and gutter on the road.

“This is concrete work and the closure allows the contractor more room to work, allowing a safer work area and allowing him to get it completed faster if the weather cooperates,” Pope said. “After that the double lane closure around the clock will be removed.”

With a project completion date of next summer, the project will continue with some single lane closures in parking areas and in the lanes of Ga. Highway 11 both during the day and overnights, Pope said.

In addition to the curb and gutter, crews must work to grind then seal the 350 concrete panels placed along the road bed, work on the sidewalk and new parking areas, as well as permanent striping.

So far, very little work has begun on the streetscapes funded by grants along with the project, which include benches, landscaping plantings and bike racks and decorative lighting, Pope said.