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Road closed for work

Affects Thompson at Hwy. 53

POSTED: November 28, 2012 4:00 a.m.

A busy stretch of Thompson Road will close Thursday as crews rebuild its intersection with Hwy. 53.

The closure is scheduled to last two months if there are no weather setbacks, according to state Department of Transportation officials.

Harold Mull, DOT district construction engineer, said in a statement that the road will be "made over completely" at that crossing.

"The road will be rebuilt to intersect ... at the same grade as the state route, improving the distance motorists can see oncoming traffic [and] therefore improving safety," he said.

The improvements are part of a $2.7 million project, whose scheduled completion date is June 30.

The work is intended to improve safety at the crossing by adding right and left turn lanes on Hwy. 53 and left turn lanes on Etowah River and Thompson roads, and changing the grade on all.

"Improving the grade of [Hwy.] 53 and the side streets will allow motorists to see each other and make better driving decisions," said DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope. "The left turn lanes will get people waiting to turn left out of the through lane and improve mobility while increasing safety."

According to Pope, the intersection was studied for a traffic signal, but did not meet any of the minimum requirements.

While Thompson is closed, a marked detour will direct traffic to use Hwy. 53 to Hugh Stowers Road and then to Thompson.

Mull thanked motorists in advance for their patience.

"Once finished, this project will benefit the entire community by allowing traffic to flow more efficiently through the area," he said.

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