For several weeks, GDOT has been hearing public input online and through in-person polls on what changes the public would support on the 25-mile stretch of highway 20 between Interstate 575 in Canton and Highway 400 in Cumming.
These changes may include widening the road, access changes and intersection reworking, but GDOT representatives have said currently there are no plans for the project, only the desire to improve traffic congestion and safety on the road.
The potential project began in 2008 when GDOT was conducting three environmental studies, which covered the same stretch of Highway 20.
Those studies were halted when the Federal Highway Administration recommended the three be combined into one Environmental Impact Statement.
An EIS is the highest level of environmental documentation that can be required for such a project.
Karyn Matthews, a project manager with GDOT, said earlier this month it will take approximately five years to complete the environmental studies.
In the meantime, GDOT has been using their time to ask the public what should be done, said Mohamed Arafa, a communications officer with GDOT.
In 2008, GDOT’s end goal was to widen to four lanes much of 25-mile stretch of Highway 20, but, Arafa said, now they are asking the public for their input.
Arafa said Friday that GDOT is getting a good bit of feedback so far.
GDOT had a public meeting in Cumming on Thursday to hear from residents on the Forsyth County side of the road.
Turnout was strong at 148 residents, Arafa said.
Those in attendance most frequently suggested widening parts of the road and adding turn lanes, he said.
Arafa said GDOT is hoping for a similar turnout in Canton.
“We strongly believe that since this project is intended to serve the people of Cherokee and Forsyth counties, their input is important and will make a difference in our project development process,” he said.