Governor Set to Be in Area on Wednesday

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is expected to be among the dignitaries on hand for a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the Highway 17 widening project.

The groundbreaking ceremony, marking the widening of State Highway 17 to four lanes from the Stephens-Franklin County line to Memorial Drive in Toccoa will take place Wednesday at 1:30 at the Currahee Campus of North Georgia Technical College.

Other officials scheduled to be involved in Wednesday’s groundbreaking program include North Georgia Technical College President Dr. Gail Thaxton, Stephens County Commissioner Dean Scarborough, 50th District State Senator John Wilkinson, and Georgia DOT District 10 Board Member Don Grantham.

Work on the widening of State Highway 17 actually started in June with crews clearing to make way for the new road.

C.W. Matthews Contracting, Inc. of Marietta, Georgia is building the entire 10.5-mile project for just over $66 million.

Construction is expected to take until 2016.

Stephens County is not the Governor’s only scheduled area stop Wednesday.

According to an announcement from the Georgia State House, Governor Deal is also set to attend a meeting of lawmakers from Georgia and South Carolina earlier Wednesday at a bi-state Savannah River Caucus meeting at the Big Oaks Recreation Park in Hartwell.

Officials said the event will bring Georgia and South Carolina legislators together to further the dialogue among policy makers with interests relating to the vast Savannah River Basin, with a special focus on economic development, the preservation of shared natural resources, and general collaboration between the two states.

The Georgia Savannah River Basin Legislative Caucus was formed during the 2013 legislative session, and consists of approximately 30 House members and Senators whose districts are within the Savannah River Water Basin.

The common goal of the Caucus is to protect and preserve Georgia’s natural resources and promote the economic development for all people who live within this region.

In response to the formation of the Georgia Savannah River Basin Legislative Caucus, South Carolina also formed a similar caucus this year.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is also expected to attend this meeting.