Sunday November 29th, 2015 9:14AM

Cleveland Bypass Phase 2 gets funding green light

By Dean Dyer WRWH Radio
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
CLEVELAND - White County and northeast Georgia got some good news Monday as officials announced funding has been secured for the second phase of the Cleveland Bypass.

State Sen. Steve Gooch made the announcement at the White County Courthouse to a large group of county and city officials from the area. Until now, only Phase 1 of the project, which is under construction, had funding.

Gooch has been a champion for the project, starting back when he served on the DOT board and he said he wanted to see it finished.

"You have to have a cheerleader on any project in state government to push something and stay focused and the priority on that project, and that's what I did," Gooch said. "When I became state senator, I continued that drive and that push to make sure we completed this project so I'm excited to see it become a reality."

Gooch and Reps. Lee Hawkins, Stephen Allison and Terry Rogers had written Governor Nathan Deal stating, "Waiting several years to complete this important road project will only delay the congestion relief that is so critically needed for the economic development of White County and the surrounding communities."

Gooch said he received word a couple weeks ago that Gov. Nathan Deal will recommend to the Georgia Department of Transportation Board use State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds to construct Phase 2 of the bypass, beginning with fiscal year 2015, which begins next July.

This funding, Gooch said, will allow the bypass construction to continue over to U.S. Highway 129 north of Cleveland and connect with Hulsey Road.

Phase 2 of the project calls for almost $20 million in expenditures. Gooch said the right-of-way already has been purchased, but there are still a couple of environmental issues that need to be resolved. He added those are expected to be settled by the time the projects gets underway.

White County Commissioner Travis Turner said White County will benefit, but so will the counties to the north, Towns and Union.

GDOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the construction for Phase 1 is slightly behind schedule, due to the rainy weather this summer, but they are expected to get back on track, and the announcement of Phase 2 funding will allow for a seamless progress.

"Construction of Phase 1 will wrap up right as the construction of Phase 2 starts - that's our goal here," Pope said.

She said construction of Phase 2 is likely to begin in early 2015.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 1 year ago )
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
No one hurt, but vehicle fire briefly shuts down highway
No one was hurt as a result of a vehicle fire that shut down a busy state highway north of Helen Sunday afternoon.
1:04PM ( 1 year ago )
White County battles fire at state park cabin
A Christmas Day fire did moderate damage to the main lodging cabin at Smithgall Woods State Park north of Cleveland.
9:24PM ( 1 year ago )
Remembering a simpler Christmas
Visitors to the Sautee Nacoochee Community Center recently were able to step back in time to enjoy a 19th Century Christmas.
7:02AM ( 1 year ago )
White County News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
32,000 acres selected for 2015-2016 prescribed burn season in North Ga.
Fire managers with the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest have begun the first of several prescribed burns as part of the U.S Department of Agriculture's (USDA) "2015-2016 prescribed fire season."
7:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
11:59PM ( 9 hours ago )
IRS phone scammers are making calls again in Hall Co.
Hall County authorities say there's been a resurgence of phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents.
11:59AM ( 21 hours ago )
Molly the Firehouse Dog brings smiles to first responders, hospital patients
Molly is a well-known face around the Hall County Fire Department and Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she serves to comfort others during times of stress.
10:26AM ( 22 hours ago )
Gainesville runoff election is Tuesday
A runoff election for a seat on the Gainesville City Council will be held Tuesday.
9:15AM ( 23 hours ago )