CLEVELAND - White County officials hosted a Georgia Department of Transportation signing of a contract for a major road project in the county Monday, a project that has taken 25-plus years to come to fruition. The event was the official signing of the contract for Phase One of the Cleveland Bypass.
Among those attending the ceremonial signing were State Department of Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden and State Senator Steve Gooch. Gooch brought with him an oversized $16.7 million dollar check, representing the total funding for the project.
White County Commission Chairman Travis Turner did not withhold his excitement as he got up to speak, letting loose with an enthusiastic, "YES, finally!"
Turner said the road project will not only benefit White County.
"I believe this project is regional in scope because it is hard to get from any of our northern counties going south. You've got to come through Cleveland in some form or fashion. I appreciate other counties that have issued their support for the project because they need to move their goods and services to either Blairsville or Hiawassee, and they've got to come through Cleveland."
"This bypass will ease congestion, improve mobility and enhance safety for the people of White County, " said Commissioner Golden. "You can see the need for this project right now...at 3 p.m. there is a traffic jam approaching the square in Cleveland."
The first phase of the bypass will connect Highway 129 south of Cleveland at Hope Drive to Highway 115 just west of Cleveland.