Plan ahead to sur­vive Sum­mer 2016 road con­struc­tion

Calhoun Times - - OPINION/COMMENT -

It’s spring­time in Ge­or­gia, and sum­mer is right around the cor­ner – the time for lazy days, for cook­outs and for fun. It’s when we wel­come vis­i­tors and hit the road with fam­ily and friends for out­ings and va­ca­tions. It’s also the sea­son for road con­struc­tion.

The Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion an­nounced plans for one of the busiest sum­mer con­struc­tion sea­sons Ge­or­gia has seen in years, with more than 470 ac­tive con­struc­tion and main­te­nance projects along in­ter­states and state routes across Ge­or­gia.

While Ge­or­gia DOT is do­ing its part to limit im­pacts to the pub­lic, mo­torists should pre­pare for longer than nor­mal traf­fic de­lays.

“This sum­mer’s con­struc­tion and main­te­nance ac­tiv­i­ties will ul­ti­mately save tax­pay­ers mil­lions of dol­lars. Per­form­ing main­te­nance now pre­vents ma­jor re­pairs later. It also re­sults in less wear and tear on ve­hi­cles,” said Ge­or­gia DOT Com­mis­sioner Russell R. McMurry, P. E. “We ask you to plan ahead and know be­fore you go. By know­ing what work we are do­ing and where we are do­ing it, you can min­i­mize your travel time and your frus­tra­tion.”

In Metro At­lanta, con­struc­tion of the Ge­or­gia Ex­press Lanes net­work con­tin­ues with con­struc­tion of the North­west Cor­ri­dor Ex­press Lanes project that adds re­versible lanes on por­tions of I- 75 and I- 575 in Cobb and Chero­kee coun­ties; the ad­di­tion of re­versible, bar­ri­ersep­a­rated I- 75 South Metro Ex­press Lanes and ITS in­fra­struc­ture in Henry and Clay­ton coun­ties; and 10 miles of con­struc­tion to be­gin late this sum­mer for the I- 85 Ex­press Lanes Ex­ten­sion.

In North­west Ge­or­gia, there is resur­fac­ing on I- 75 in Ca­toosa County from US 41 to the Ten­nessee state line. Car­roll County has con­crete re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion on I- 20 from SR 1/ US 27 to SR 61.

For de­tails on th­ese and the other ma­jor projects across Ge­or­gia, visit 511ga. org.

Here’s how you can sur­vive sum­mer con­struc­tion:

Plan ahead. Be­fore you get into your car – call 511 or visit 511ga. org for real- time in­for­ma­tion about statewide road con­di­tions. There’s also a link to 511 on Ge­or­gia DOT’s home­page at dot. ga. gov.

For the statewide list of sum­mer con­struc­tion projects, visit www. dot. ga. gov. Seek com­mute op­tions like car­pool­ing, GRTA, MARTA or county tran­sit.

Be flex­i­ble - if your em­ployer agrees, con­sider tele­work, com­pressed work­week or flex­time. Visit Ge­or­gia Com­mute Op­tions at www. g acom­mu­teop­tions. com.

Drive Alert and Ar­rive Alive – al­ways buckle up, stay off the phone and no tex­ting, and drive alert with no dis­trac­tions.

Obey the rules in work zones – Pay At­ten­tion, Slow Down, and Watch for Work­ers. Keep in mind that work zones are not al­ways sta­tion­ary. Mo­bile work zones in­clude lit- ter pickup, mow­ing and sweep­ing.

Every day Ge­or­gia DOT em­ploy­ees work on road­ways in close prox­im­ity to travel lanes. Whether they’re main­te­nance, con­struc­tion or HEROs, it’s dan­ger­ous. Fifty- eight Ge­or­gia DOT per­son­nel and many more mo­torists, pas­sen­gers and con­trac­tors’ work­ers have been killed in work zone crashes since 1973. When you drive in a work zone, obey the rules: Pay At­ten­tion - Slow Down - Watch for Work­ers. It can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death. Visit www. dot. ga. gov/ DS/ Safe­tyOper­a­tion/ Work­zone.

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