ATLANTA, GA – Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) announces the contract for a much-needed road widening project to improve safety, mobility and relieve congestion along the corridor located in Cherokee County, has been awarded to C.W. Matthews Inc. Construction costs for the project are estimated at $28 million.

The state-funded project, located in Northwest Georgia, will widen State Route (SR) 20 from two to six lanes with a 20-foot concrete raised median including curb and gutter, and 5-foot sidewalks. An additional component of this project includes intersection improvements at Old Doss Drive, Brooke Park Drive, Key Drive, Big Oak Drive, Weaver Circle and Scott Road.

“This widening project provides much-needed capacity relief for east-west connectivity in an area that has seen huge population growth over the last 10 years,” said State Transportation committee chair Senator Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta). “In addition, the raised median is an added safety measure to reduce potential crashes.”

The project is proposed to improve efficiency and safety by addressing traffic congestion, above average crash rates, and substandard intersections along this section of SR 20. The project begins nearly half a mile east of I-575 in the City of Canton and ends just east of County Road 281/Scott Road. The total project length is slightly over a mile and adjacent to the county’s largest employer, Northside Hospital – Cherokee County.

Raised medians are just one safety measure being proposed with this project. There are also proposed innovative intersection improvements such as Restricted Crossing U-Turns (RCUT) throughout the corridor to enhance safety and roadway operations. RCUTs are alternative intersections that eliminate high-risk left-hand turns, decreasing conflicts and congestion.

“One of the important goals of this project is to reduce crash rates and improve safety along SR 20,” said State Transportation Board member Jeff Lewis, Congressional District 11. “RCUT intersections have been installed in many states in the U.S., and federal studies have shown a reduction in total crashes at those locations by 28% to 44%. These studies have also shown a reduction in the number of fatal crashes by more than half.”

While RCUTs can cause a slight increase in travel time during periods of low traffic volumes, they have been shown to decrease delay during periods of higher volumes, reducing the time it takes to clear an intersection and resume normal travel speeds, thereby resulting in an overall benefit for local roadway users, as well as those traveling along SR 20.

“The State Route 20 widening project demonstrates Georgia DOT’s continuing efforts to enhance mobility and safety in congested areas throughout the state,” said Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, P.E. “Through projects like this GDOT is ‘building a better Georgia’ by fueling economic growth and improving quality of life for citizens of Georgia and those traveling through the state.”

Information on project schedules, potential lane closures and detours will be available in advance of activities taking place and will continue throughout the construction phase. This project is a segment of a multi-phased SR 20 Corridor project. For updates or to follow along with the project visit http://www.dot.ga.gov/BS/Projects/SpecialProjects/SR20Improvements/I575NCorners

Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways. We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Georgia DOT and its nearly 4,000 employees are committed to delivering a transportation system focused on innovation, safety, sustainability, and mobility. The Department’s vision is to boost Georgia’s competitiveness through leadership in transportation.

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