Highway 17 Widening Moving Forward As DOT Awards Project

Stephens County receives good news on the Highway 17 project.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it had officially awarded both phases of the Highway 17 widening project.

The two phases of the project, which will create a four-lane divided Highway 17 between the Franklin-Stephens County line and Memorial Drive in Toccoa, were awarded to C.W. Matthews Contracting, Inc. of Marietta, Georgia at a total cost of just over $66 million for about 10.5 miles of work.

Georgia DOT Spokesperson Teri Pope said construction is expected to begin this summer.

“As we get closer and know more details about how the contractor plans to build it and when the work will start, we will certainly let you know,” said Pope. “But right now, we can all rejoice in that the contract has been awarded.”

C.W. Matthews had the low bids on both the northern and southern phases of the project.

The southern part of the project, 7 miles between the Franklin-Stephens County line and Scott Road in Eastanollee, was let for bid in January and the bid award was deferred in February. DOT officials say the bid award was deferred at that time in order to complete necessary internal environmental paperwork and documentation associated with the project.

Meanwhile, the 3.2-mile northern phase between Scott Road and Memorial Drive in Toccoa was let for bid in February and the DOT said it deferred that bid award in March in order to better coordinate the two phases of the project.

According to the DOT, the northern end will cost just over $20 million, while the southern end will cost just over $46 million.

Construction on the whole project is expected to take until 2016, with a projected completion date of April 30, 2016 for the northern phase and May 31, 2016 for the southern phase.