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Widening ahead of schedule

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- An effort to widen one of the county's highest-traveled thoroughfares is ahead of schedule and will likely be completed by Sept. 30, Georgia Department of Transportation officials say.

Craig Solomon, spokesman for GDOT in Tifton said that the road-widening project along Gillionville Road appears as though it will meet a Sept. 30 deadline.

In an email to The Albany Herald Tuesday, Solomon said that the project should meet its timetable.

In total, the project comes with a $6,453,129 price tag and will widen 2.06 miles of roadway.

Despite being ahead of schedule, the project has had its hurdles.

Last March, officials with the Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission told their board that the project was having a "tremendous impact" on the utility's manpower thanks to the arduous task of relocating 8,700 feet of water mains and 26,000 feet of fiberoptic cable.

That process included trenching 8,700 feet of dirt including boring a line under an existing creek.

On April 30, 2009, the Dougherty County Commission passed a "declaration of taking" that allowed them to pay the owner of the last parcel of land along the widening route $19,000 -- considered fair market value -- for a strip of land to get the project started. Following that move, the county deeded their rights of way along the proposed construction zone to GDOT.