"Construction on this $2.5 million project is approximately 86 percent complete and expected to be done by the end of January," Shearin said in a newsletter this week.

Crews are resurfacing just over 10 miles of the road, between U.S. 411 and U.S. 278. The project includes rehabilitating the shoulders where they've eroded. E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. won the bid in April 2018.

Stretches in Polk County between U.S. 278 in Cedartown heading toward the Alabama state line, and extending onto Prior Station Road and then off toward Cave Spring on Mountain Home Road, saw some finishing touches before rainfall last week of the last bit of shoulder work and replanting of grass seed on Tuesday.

Shearin said the road netted a pavement condition rating of 76 and, normally, roads aren't recommended for work until the score is 70 or below.

"In this case, the District Maintenance Office saw an opportunity to address a need before it became a problem," he said.

In neighboring Chattooga County, Tidwell Construction Co. just got the go-ahead to start on a new $4.3 million bridge on Taliaferro Springs Road over the Chattooga River. Shearin said the road sees little traffic but the existing bridge has a weight limit of just 14 tons, below Georgia Department of Transportation standards.

The new bridge will be 28 feet wide, with two 11-foot travel lanes and three-foot shoulders on both sides. The contract calls for the work to be done by the end of the year.

Another major project, on Interstate 75 in Gordon and Whitfield counties, is slated to wrap up by the end of June.

Work started in July 2018 on the $37.6 million repaving and restriping project covering nearly 20 miles between Redbud Road in Calhoun and North Tibbs Road in Dalton. C.W. Matthews Inc. has the contract.

Next up is a $1 million resurfacing project on Ga. 53 in Gordon County, slated to get underway as weather allows.

Shearin said Northwest Georgia Paving Inc. will remove the top portion of asphalt to eliminate cracks, ruts and imperfections before adding a new layer. Rumble strips and a high-friction surface treatment also are part of the work.

The 1.5-mile projects starts in Gordon and extends into Pickens County and is expected to be done by the end of the summer.

Shearin said GDOT put $1.48 billion into Northwest Georgia transportation initiatives last year — to include landscaping, drainage, fencing and soundwalls, sidewalks and roadway preservation.

"These projects will enable our corner of the state to thrive economically while enhancing your safety as a driver and a pedestrian," he said.