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Road construction to start in Dawson, Forsyth
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The Georgia Department of Transportation announced last week that construction is scheduled to begin soon on two highway projects in Northeast Georgia funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act .


Hwy. 53 will be resurfaced from the Pickens County line to Hwy. 183 in Dawson County.


Crews were scheduled to begin the project Monday, but due to a rain-filled forecast, the department hopes to begin work today.


“We had to push back the starting date because of the expected rain, and weather permitting, we hope to begin the project [today],” said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the department.


Work will occur weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the route. Traffic will be stopped by flaggers and pilot vehicles will lead motorists through the work zone.


Pope added that motorists are advised to slow down and use extra caution in the work zone.


The estimated cost of the 6.8 mile long project is $1.1 million, and the completion date is projected to be March 31, 2010, but work is expected to finish this calendar year.


Road construction was also slated to begin Monday in Forsyth County, resurfacing Hwy. 9 from the Fulton County line to just north of Hwy. 20 in Cumming.


DOT officials announced Friday that the Forsyth County project will be delayed, but did not provide a reason for the delay.


“The project will not begin Monday as planned,” said Pope last week. “As the work is rescheduled, we will let you know.”


When work does  begin, the department has said, crews will work overnight from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. to minimize impact on traffic. Flaggers and pilot vehicles will also control the 9.8 mile work scene, which will occur Sunday through Thursdays


C.W. Matthews Contracting Inc., of Marietta, is the contractor for both projects.

Georgia DOT is responsible for 70 percent of Georgia’s $932 million in highway system ARRA funds. The remaining 30 percent is divided among the state’s 15 Metropolitan Planning Organizations and designated rural areas.


The two entities are currently working together to fund the projects from the respective allocations.


The ARRA is a national effort to create jobs, and transform America’s economy to compete in the 21st century. Nationwide, some $48 billion in stimulus investments are being made in transportation infrastructure, including highways, public transit, high speed rail and aviation.


All selected ARRA stimulus projects are fully funded by the federal government; no state or local matching funds are required.


For more information about the stimulus funds and state projects, visit

   DCN Regional Staff Jennifer Sami contributed to this report.