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Crossing topic of luncheon
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Transportation is up for discussion Thursday during a Dawson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Robert Murphy, senior project manager with the Georgia Department of Transportation, will outline plans for the Hwy. 53-Ga. 400 crossing, which include converting it to a two-legged continuous flow setup.

A first for Georgia, the at-grade crossing is designed to move left-turning vehicles out of traffic's main flow by using a series of access roads and longer left-turn lanes.

Peter Hill, chairman of the chamber's board of directors, said it's crucial the community is aware of the plans at the county's busiest intersection.

"This is such a big change, such a big shift and so different than what is there now," he said. "It's critical that the community has lots of opportunities to think about this and understand how it's going to work."

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

At an estimated cost of $13 million, the planned project would not displace any nearby businesses, DOT officials have said.

Right-of-way acquisition has begun for the project that was originally set for fiscal year 2015, which begins on July 1, 2014.

Construction could take up to a year and a half to complete.

The chamber's monthly business lunch is set for noon at the Lakeview Center.

Pre-registration at $15 per person for chamber members is recommended. The cost at the door on the day of the event is $17 for chamber members and $18 for guests.

Register by calling the chamber at (706) 265-6278, online at or e-mail