Hwy. 17 Widening Still Moving Forward in Stephens Co.

The widening of Highway 17 in Stephens County to four lanes appears to continue to move forward.

According to Georgia Department of Transportation Spokesperson Teri Pope, seven companies bid on the first phase of the widening, which is the southern end of the project between Franklin County and Scott Road.

The low bid received was from C.W. Matthews of Marietta, Georgia at a cost of about $46.2 million. The highest of the seven bids was $58.2 million.

Pope said that officials must review all of the bids before a final decision can be made and a company awarded the project.

She said that a final decision on awarding a bid for the first phase of the Highway 17 project is expected to come early next month.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the widening of Highway 17, which will encompass the northern section of the highway between Scott Road and Memorial Drive, is expected to go out to bid next month.

There is no word yet on any construction dates.

Earlier this month, Stephens County Commissioner Dean Scarborough announced that the state had informed him that the DOT had found funding for both phases of Highway 17 in this current fiscal year. Originally, only Phase One was scheduled to be bid in this current fiscal year.

According to Scarborough, that means Phases One and Two can be constructed at the same time, rather than waiting for Phase One to be complete before Phase Two could begin.

Scarborough said earlier this month that having both phases in the plans to be bid this current fiscal year is great news for Stephens County.