An aerial view of the Cleveland Bypass taken earlier this fall by White County resident and drone operator Sam Owens.
There will be a Grand Opening and Naming Ceremony for Phase 1 of the Cleveland Bypass/Appalachian Parkway in Cleveland today, Tuesday, November 24th. The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the intersection of Hope Drive and 129 South (at the Walmart intersection).
It’s been a long time coming
Work began on the $15.1 million project in August of 2012. It’s original completion date was July 31, 2014. That date was extended several times over the past three years with contractor, Tucker-based Sunbelt Structures, publicly blaming the weather.
Now, more than a year overdue, the first leg of the Cleveland Bypass is open to traffic. The newly constructed 1.97 mile stretch of divided four-lane highway begins at Hope Drive and GA 11/US 129 and extends northwest to GA 115.
It’s the first of a three phase road construction project that will eventually form a western arc around Cleveland. “Once completed, the Cleveland Bypass will improve mobility for locals and tourists by directing through traffic around Cleveland minimizing congestion into the square,” explained Brent Cook, Georgia DOT District Engineer.
Phase Two Underway
Work is already underway on Phase Two — a 2.2 mile stretch of divided four-lane that will run from GA 115 to GA 11/U.S. 129 across from Hulsey Road.
The $23.5 million project includes construction of six bridges and is expected to be completed by September 30, 2017. Work on that project is being done by G.P.’s Enterprises of Auburn.
According to the White County government website, the project’s third phase is scheduled to break ground sometime in 2019. That project will involve a road running from near Hulsey Road at U.S. 129 to near Hulsey at GA 75/Helen Highway.
A birds-eye view
White County resident Sam Owens has been offering a birds-eye view of the road construction since it began. He has captured much of the Phase One construction with his Phantom FC40 drone and Go Pro camera.
Owens’ videos have been viewed hundreds of times since construction on the Cleveland Bypass began.
For more videos by Sam Owens visit www.youtube.com/samowens44.