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Open house set by DOT for intersection

POSTED: March 24, 2010 4:00 a.m.

An informational open house set for April 15 will show the public plans for improvements to Dawson County’s busiest intersection.


The state Department of Transportation unveiled a proposal earlier this month to convert the crossing of Ga. 400 and Hwy. 53 to a two-legged continuous flow intersection that will move left turning vehicles out of the main flow of traffic.


The informal open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at Kilough Elementary School in Dawsonville. The school is on Kilough Church Road, just off of Ga. 400.


Transportation representatives say Dawson County could be the first in the state to have the new at-grade intersection, which uses signals for left turn traffic several hundred feet before the main intersection and allows left turning vehicles to cross over oncoming traffic.


The changes also include lengthened double left turn lanes both east and west on Hwy. 53.


Steve Gooch, who represents the 9th congressional district on the Department of Transportation board, last week called the design cost effective and “almost fail-proof.”


“There’s one in Louisiana that’s working out real well,” he said. “The whole idea is to get people moving through the intersection faster.”


Gooch said the project would require minimal land acquisition and would not displace any current businesses.


“Hopefully that will satisfy the landholders there. This area is so congested,” he said.


With a price tag at about $12 to 14 million, the project is expected to cost about a tenth of what it would have taken to build a flyover, which  would have elevated Ga. 400 traffic over Hwy. 53 and included a series of access roads, at the intersection.


Once the design and land acquisition phases are complete, Project Manager Robert Murphy said the construction time would be about 18 months.


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