Four-lane East-West connector in sight

Published Monday, May 19, 2014

After more than a decade, officials have finally broken ground to widen the remaining 4.5-mile section of SR 20 that will create four-lane access across Gwinnett County, from its eastern border with Walton County to Forsyth County, on its western border.

Groundbreaking, in mid-July, marked the start of two simultaneous road improvement projects. Gwinnett County will manage the 4.5 miles leading up to the bridge that crosses the Chattachoochee River, and Georgia Department of Transportation will oversee construction of two new, two-lane bridges into Forsyth.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash said, “This has been a challenging project,” and that “this section is probably the most difficult,” referring to this, the third of three projects to widen SR 20 across the County. This third leg of the widening project involved approximately 200 right-of-way parcels. “Even when people think a project needs to be done, they may not always agree on the alignment of the road and how it affects their property.”

Gwinnett’s SPLOST sales tax program provided approximately $7 million in funding for a portion of the engineering, right-of-way and construction phases of work. State and federal governments are providing $85 million for the bridge and roadway projects. State funds came from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) and the Georgia DOT.

This east/west connector is highly critical to economic development, according to Gwinnett District 1 Commissioner Jace Brooks. “When we talk to businesses interested in expanding or possibly locating here, transportation is always toward the top of their list,” he said.

This last leg of the widening project is expected to take about three years to complete.