GDOT awards 19 road-improvement contracts

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has awarded 19 new contracts, totaling $45 million, for state transportation projects.

Included in the road-improvement projects, funded with federal money, are projects in Butts, Henry and Clayton counties, according to David Spear, a spokesman for GDOT.

"Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about these, or any other construction projects on interstates and state routes," said Spear.

Butts and Henry counties will get traffic-signal upgrades, and the installation of video detection systems on State Route 155 at Lawrenceville Street, State Route 42 at East Atlanta Street, State Route 42 at Shields Drive/Flippen Road (all in Henry), and State Route 16 at Peachtree Street ( in Butts County), said Kimberly Larson, also a state transportation department spokesperson.

Larson said the projects will improve the overall efficiency of traffic flow in those areas, through the use of state-of-the-art, traffic-signal control equipment. The upgrades will also include better signal coordination, due to fiber optic communications cable, the enhancement of pedestrian safety with improved crosswalks, pedestrian signals and wheelchair ramps, where needed.

Larson added that the traffic signals will use new, light-emitting diode (LED) lights, which are brighter and can be seen from greater distances.

GDOT awarded a construction contract of just over $430,000 to R.J. Haynie & Associates, Inc., of Lake City, said Larson. The Butts and Henry projects are scheduled for completion in late December.

When asked when the work will begin, Larson responded, "The earliest, probably, in a couple of months."

Mark McKinnon, also a department spokesman, said the improvement project in Clayton County will include about 6.5 miles of State Route 331, from State Route 85, to State Route 54. It will involve the milling and resurfacing of State Route 331, he said. "Milling is when they cut the old asphalt out and replace it," explained McKinnon.

The resurfacing will also improve water run off, he said. Asphalt, he said, lasts about 12 to 15 years, but if there is a lot of traffic flow on a road, it doesn't last as long. "It [State Route 331] is a pretty heavily traveled route," he said.

GDOT awarded the contract of about $1.3 million to C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc., in Marietta. The project should begin in late March, or early April, and be completed in late November, according to McKinnon. The work, he added, will mostly be done at night.