By selecting C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc., of Marietta, to take on the project, the Georgia Department of Transportation has given the green light to start overhauling the interchange and reconstruct the bridges over Highway 411, Pettit Creek and CSX railroad. The total construction cost, according to a GDOT press release, is $31,546,121.
GDOT spokesman Mohamed Arafa said the construction project is part of a larger construction program going on across the state: the RoadWorks 2014 program.
“We have a construction program that focuses on achieving at least two things: improving mobility and enhancing safety of those who are using our transportation system. That project comes into this context,” he said. “... We will definitely improve the mobility of those using the interchange and for using both U.S. 411 and U.S. 41. While we are making operational improvements, we’re also enhancing the safety in that location.”
A traffic diagram sheet available on GDOT’s website depicts a diamond interchange with two small cloverleafs taking traffic on and off Highway 41 on the east side of Highway 411. The project, including the bridge widenings across the creek and railroad tracks, has been planned for some time, Arafa said.
“It has been on the book for quite some time. As you very well know, like any other institution, not just in the state or any other organization, but nationwide, we have more need than funds and that’s why we are always prioritizing and now this became, obviously, a top priority for us and that’s why we found some type of funds to get this done,” he said.
Expected to take approximately 2 to 2 1/2 years, the project has an expected finish date of December 2017.
The renovation comes as work on the Ga. Highway 20 relocation project continues. Highway 20 is shifting farther north to form an intersection on Highway 411 at Peeples Valley Road, which will help even out traffic flow, Arafa said.
“So we look at the transportation system as a whole and ... that’s why we look at coordination between the projects in the area. Definitely this project is closely related to other projects in the area, because you always have collection and distribution of traffic going through the major arterials in the area,” he said.
The $31 million price tag on the project is being handled with a combination of state and federal funds. The split, Arafa explained, is usually 80 percent federal money and 20 percent state funds. Construction will begin when the contractor is able to gather the necessary equipment and resources. Arafa said the contract gives a notice to proceed rather than a hard start date in order to give the contractor time to prepare. However, the 2017 deadline is firm.
“But they will have to let us know at least two weeks in advance if their work is going to impact traffic. We have the responsibility of informing the public of what to expect on the road ahead, especially when the private construction is going to have an impact on the heavy traffic,” Arafa said. “So we need to let the public know what kind of lane closure we’ll have, or traffic shift, and let them know way in advance.”
For more information on the project, visit www.dot.ga.gov and click on projects and then project search. The interchange’s project number is 0002626.