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Stimulus Money Bringing Progress and Frustration to Buford Dam Road | News

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Stimulus Money Bringing Progress and Frustration to Buford Dam Road
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FORSYTH CO., Ga. -- It's going to be a frustrating fall for many when a 3-mile section of Buford Dam Road is closed for a stimulus funded repaving project.

For five weeks beginning October 4, The Army Corps of Engineers will close their section of Buford Dam Road that crosses Lake Lanier. $1.2-million in federal stimulus funds will pay for a fresh coat of asphalt.

It is one of three road projects along the busy road that will overlap between now and the end of fall. There are estimates than 10,000 people use Buford Dam Road each day.

"I don't like the inconvenience," said Herb Stuhler, whose home is just west of where the section of Buford Dam Road will close.

Come October, Stuhler won't be able to turn right out of his subdivision to head toward Gwinnett County to visit family. He'll have to take a winding route to Highway 20.

"20 is about the worst road you can go on nowadays," said Stuler. "It's already backed up. I guess it's going to be a nightmare."

The Corps of Engineers says closing the two lane road was the safest and fastest way to complete the project.

"I'm anticipating about 30-minutes," the Corps' Tim Rainey said of the time it will take to drive around the road closure. "I drove it the other day and it took ten minutes for me. That was without the other cars piled on there, so I'm planning to leave home 30-minutes early."

Getting around the road closure could lead you to other delays.

Local dollars are paying for two other projects west of Buford Dam. Sometime this fall, the city of Cumming will close a half-mile section of Buford Dam Road near Highway 9 to widen the road to four lanes. A city engineer says the project will take three months. Detours will guide travelers around the closure.

Forsyth County is currently paving and improving intersections along a 2.6-mile section of Buford Dam Road. The road won't close completely, but on occasion, crews are closing one of two lanes. That project is expected to wrap up at the end of October.

Most people are concerned about the Corps of Engineers project. Joseph Sanders is concerned it will divert traffic away from his bait store on Lake Lanier.

"It will hurt us a lot," said Sanders. "A lot of people come through here as a cut through and they'll stop here. We're going to miss all of them."

Wednesday afternoon, a line of traffic backed up as construction crews worked on Forsyth County's repaving project. It's just a taste of what could be a long fall on Buford Dam Road.

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