SOUTH FORSYTH -- Though it may have been predicted - and then proven - that traffic on Ga. 400 would get worse before it gets better, a construction milestone is expected to be reached by September that may begin to alleviate driver woes.
A third northbound lane on Ga. 400 from McFarland Parkway (Exit 12) to Peachtree Parkway/Hwy. 141 (Exit 13) should be open this fall, according to Forsyth County's government and the Georgia Department of Transportation.
"It's quicker than the timeline we thought, so anything we can do to help this along is great," said Pete Amos, chair of the Board of Commissioners and representative for District 1.
Construction on the 13.4-mile stretch began in November, one year after funding for the project and an array of other widening and improvement projects was approved by voters in an infrastructure bond referendum.
The $47 million - $34 million provided by the 2014 bond and $13 million by state funds - project will create an additional lane on both sides of Ga. 400 from McFarland Parkway to Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369), which will become Exit 18.
The additional lanes are being constructed in the existing median.
Also included in the project is widening bridges over Big Creek and the Sawnee Creek portion of Lake Lanier, which Ga. 400 travels over.
The next tentative completion date after September comes in March 2017, when the third northbound lane will be open through Bald Ridge Marina Road (Exit 15).
In June 2017, all of the northbound widening, including shoulder work, is expected to be completed.
The third southbound lane has a projected completion date of April 2018 from McFarland Parkway to Hwy. 20/Buford Highway (Exit 14), with all southbound work being completed by October 2018 - pushed back from an initial completion date of May 31, 2018.
C.W. Matthews Contracting is handling the work.
"Our citizens need roads and so it's nice to have the state step in and help us build roads," Amos said, "to get our citizens faster to Atlanta and to their jobs."