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Highway 196 widening slated for completion by fall 2009
Utility relocation impacts slowed the project, according to GDOT spokeswoman
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    The Georgia Department of Transportation's project to widen SR 196, originally scheduled for completion in May of this year, is still under construction. After the GDOT's recent re-evaluation of its spending, which was initiated by new commissioner Gena Abraham's discovery earlier this year that the department was overextended by more than $1 billion, many began to think that the SR 196 project was being postponed or delayed due to poor planning.
    But, according to department spokeswoman Brenda Howard, this is not the case. "There have been some utility relocation impacts that have slowed the project," she said, "but [it] should be moving forward at this time."
    The project entails widening SR 196 from two lanes to four, and separating them by a 32-foot wide median. The state route also will be realigned with SR 38/84 "in conjunction with the widening of SR 196," Howard said. The work is expected to cost $40 million.
    According to Howard, construction should be completed before the end of the year. "The last advisory we received from the contractor was that they intend to be complete in fall 2009," she said.

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