TOCCOA - A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Thursday morning near Toccoa for an expansion of Georgia Highway 17, a project that is part of the Governor's Road Improvement Program (GRIP). That's a program designed to boost Georgia's economic development by connecting 95 percent of cities with 2,500 or more people to the Interstate Highway System.
"As long-time friends stretching back as far as our time in the Future Farmers of America organization, it was a pleasure to host Governor Deal in Stephens County," said state Sen. John Wilkinson. "Together we have long dreamt of expanding our highway system in Northeast Georgia to accommodate increase flow of goods and keep our state competitive. By growing the Freight Corridor Network to four-lanes on Highway 17, we are staying ahead of demands and bringing jobs to Northeast Georgia."
From Stephens and Franklin county line to Scott Road, State Route 17 will be improved to four-lanes for 6.28 miles, with a projected completion date of May 31, 2016. The widening will continue for another 3.13-mile stretch with sidewalks from Fieldcrest Road to Memorial Drive and should be finished by April 30, 2016.