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Road closing at SR 53
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Kimberly Boim

When it comes to traffic congestion due to construction along State Route 53, things are going to get ugly before they start looking pretty again.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced that Thompson Road will be closed starting Thursday, Nov. 29 for approximately two months if the weather cooperates during construction. A stretch of Thompson Road, about one-quarter mile long at the intersection with SR 53, will be affected.

Thompson Road will be made over completely at its intersection with State Route 53, explained DOT District Construction Engineer Harold Mull. The road will be rebuilt to intersect SR 53 at the same grade as the state route, improving the distance motorists can see oncoming traffic, therefore improving safety. The new turning lanes from Thompson Road onto SR 53 will open for you to use as Thompson Road reopens.

While Thompson Road is closed, a lighted detour sign will be in place directing traffic to use SR 53 to Hugh Stowers Road then to Thompson Road.

Brad Maples, whose accounting business is located on Hwy. 53, said the construction hasnt been too much of a problem, yet.

Closing Thompson Road is going to create a detour for my clients, he said. Theyre going to have to go to Hugh Stowers Road, then turn left, come back to the 4-way stop, then come back up Thompson Road to get to my office. And its going to hit us right at the beginning of tax season. Its just awful.

A representative from Maples neighbor, Forsyth Dental, said the department of transportation hasnt opened a temporary entrance for the company yet.

We opened in April 2012 and we never expected this, said Barabara Castelli, office manager for Forsyth Dental.

We have to send out notices to all patients to make them aware of the closing, and how to get around it, she added. Its such a mess out there right now.

There is, however, some good news.

Before we close Thompson Road, were going to have a temporary entrance put in for those folks, said on-site DOT Project Manager Robert Lunsford. He also said that construction, right now, is ahead of schedule.

But, well have to see how much bad weather we get hit with.

The $2.7 million project includes construction of turning lanes on SR 53 and changing the grade on all four roadways to improve sight distance for motorists. The completion date is June 30, 2013.