Alabama Highway widening project

The Georgia Department of Transportation recently awarded a bid for the Ga. Highway 151 (Alabama Highway) widening project. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

After years of discussion, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) recently awarded a nearly $35 million construction bid for the planned widening project of Ga. Highway 151 from Holcomb Road to U.S. Highway 41 in Ringgold.

The GDOT recently awarded the project bid to Marietta, Ga.-based C.W. Matthews Construction Company in the amount of $34,596,916. Officials say the project will start "soon."

"At this point we still don't have a firm start date," said Mohamed Arafa, public relations manager for GDOT. "Once a contract is awarded, GDOT sends a notice to proceed. However, we leave it to the contractor to decide on a starting date depending on the mobilization process and equipment movement."

Arafa says a start date will have to be announced at least two weeks ahead of time if the work will interfere with traffic so the public can be made aware.

He added that the contract includes language that the project is to be completed by Feb. 28, 2018.

The project includes the widening and reconstruction of Ga. Highway 151 (Alabama Highway) from approximately 3,200 feet south of Rollins Industrial Boulevard at Holcomb Road through the I-75 Interchange to U.S. Highway 41 in Ringgold for a distance of approximately 2.03 miles. The widening will be from a two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided with a 20-foot raised median to Boynton Road/Lafayette Street and flush median to U.S. 41. The project also includes the replacement of the existing bridges over I-75 and South Chickamauga Creek, and the reconstruction of the existing I-75/Ga. 151 interchange.

"Upon completion, this project will provide local and through traffic along Ga. 151 with a roadway that will adequately serve current and future travel demands and provide the public with a safer driving environment," Arafa said. "The Ga. 151 improvements are part of the Chattanooga Urban Area Transportation Study and involve the multi-laning of this primarily north-south corridor in North Georgia near the city of Ringgold. The project also provides for future expansion of I-75 with a longer bridge and relocated ramps."

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.