GDOT Pleads for Safe Back to School Driving in Northwest Georgia 

Announcements
Safe Driving for Back-to-School Season…
GDOT Pleads for Safe Back to School Driving in Northwest Georgia 

WHITE, Ga. – Students heading back to school means more traffic, increased congestion and the need for extra safety precautions. From school buses loading and unloading, to kids walking and biking, to parents dropping off and picking up – dangers abound.

As back-to-school gets into full swing, Georgia DOT urges drivers to put safety first – especially in and around school zones, buses and children.

  • Pay attention to school zone flashing beacons and obey school zone speed limits.
  • Obey school bus laws.
    • Stop behind/do not pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
    • If the lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, opposing traffic must stop unless it is on a divided highway with a grass or concrete median.
  • Watch for students gathering near bus stops, and for kids arriving late, who may dart into the street. Children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

According to the National Safety Council, most children who lose their lives in school bus-related incidents are four to seven years old, walking and they are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.

“It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially in the peak traffic hours before and after school,” said Grant Waldrop, district engineer at the DOT office in White.

Research by the National Safe Routes to School program found that more children are hit by cars near schools than at any location. Georgia DOT implores drivers to watch out for children walking or bicycling (both on the road and the sidewalk) in area near a school.

“If you’re driving behind a school bus, increase your following distance to allow more time to stop once the lights start to flash. The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to give them space to safely enter and exit the bus,” Waldrop explained.

Whenever you drive – be alert and expect the unexpected. By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in and around school zones. Let’s make this new school year safer for our children. 

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Construction to Begin Soon on Adding a Passing Lane to Hwy 53 in Pickens County 

Announcements

JASPER, Ga– Work could begin soon on constructing one mile eastbound passing lane on State Route (SR) 53 east of Jasper in Pickens County. Georgia DOT has just awarded a contract to Vertical Earth Incorporated of Cumming, Georgia, valued at nearly seven million dollars for a project to reconstruct and rehabilitate the highway at that location.

The project includes 1.370 miles of widening and reconstruction for a passing lane on SR 53, beginning east of Four Mile Church Road and extending to east of Wilkie Road in Pickens County. It is intended to provide more passing opportunities in an effort to improve mobility and limit crash frequency and severity within the project corridor. The project corridor features rolling terrain and only minimum passing opportunities. With traffic expected to grow at 1.5 percent annually between now and 2037, the addition of a passing lane should improve the flow of traffic on the highway and make it safer.

“Upon completion, this project will improve the flow of traffic on State Route 53, make it safer and help the public get where they need to go in Pickens County,” said Grant Waldrop, district engineer at the Georgia DOT office in Cartersville.

This reconstruction project is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2020 at a construction cost of $6,818,725. Information on construction and lane closure schedules on this project will be forthcoming before work begins.

More details on this and other projects in the Department’s most recent bid awards are available via the Award Announcement Download at: https://www.bidx.com/ga/letting?lettingid=18092101.

The public is urged to “know before you go.” For real-time information on active construction, incidents and more, call 511 or visit www511ga.org before you get into your car.

Roadway work zones are hazardous for workers and for the public. In fact, most fatalities in work zones crashes are drivers or passengers. Obey the rules in work zones – Pay Attention – Slow Down – Watch for Workers.  And always, expect the unexpected. It can make the difference between life and death. Remember – work zone safety is in your hands.

Work soon to begin on project to improve the intersection of Hwy 515 and Antioch Church Road in Pickens County

Announcements, News

Road improvements continue …On time, on budget…

JASPER, Ga. – Work could begin soon on an intersection improvement project on State Route (SR) 515 in Pickens County. Georgia DOT has just awarded a contract to Bartow Paving Company, Inc. of Cartersville, Georgia, valued at nearly two million dollars for a construction project to improve an intersection on the highway. The project includes improving the intersection of SR 515 with Antioch Church Road in Northern Pickens County.

This construction project is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2019, at a construction cost of $1,546,973.   Information on construction and lane closure schedules on this project will be forthcoming before work begins.

More details on this and other projects in the Department’s most recent bid awards are available via the Award Announcement Download here.

The public is urged to “know before you go.” For real-time information on active construction, incidents and more, call 511 or visit www511ga.org before you get into your car.

Roadway work zones are hazardous for workers and for the public. In fact, most fatalities in work zones crashes are drivers or passengers. Obey the rules in work zones – Pay Attention – Slow Down – Watch for Workers.  And always, expect the unexpected. It can make the difference between life and death. Remember – work zone safety is in your hands. 

Put your phone away and just drive: Hands-Free cell phone use is now the law drivers in Georgia

Press Release

Hands-Free cell phone use is law

Drive Alert Arrive Alive, Georgia!

CARTERSVILLE, Ga.—Just put down the phone and DRIVE! Hands-free cell phone use is now the law for drivers in Georgia. The Hands-Free Law (House Bill 673; Hands-Free Georgia Act), which went into effect on July 1, requires hands-free technology when drivers use cell phones and other electronic devices. Among other things, it is illegal for a driver to hold a phone in their hand or to use their body to support a phone. Penalties range from $50 and one point on a license for the first conviction to $150 and three points for the third and subsequent convictions.

Read Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) The EXTRA MILE blog post – Hands-Free Means Big Changes for the Better in Georgia – by guest author Robert Hydrick of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). For additional information on the many facets of the law, visit http://www.headsupgeorgia.com/handsfree-law/.

“I am optimistic that Georgia’s new Hands-Free law will save lives,” GDOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry. P.E. said. “I also want to emphasize how crucial it is for drivers and passengers to buckle up. Seatbelts truly save lives.”

Through its Drive Alert Arrive Alive campaign, GDOT has, for several years, called attention to an alarming surge in fatalities on Georgia’s roads after a decade of reductions. Many of these deaths are preventable. The campaign implores motorists to focus on driving, to not drive distracted and to wear a seatbelt to reduce the chance of serious injury or death if there is a crash. Visitwww.dot.ga.gov/DAAA.

While GDOT reports that, as of June 28, 2018, overall roadway fatalities are down 10 percent in Georgia from the same time last year, pedestrian deaths are up 22 percent. GDOT’s See & Be Seen campaign, the pedestrian component of Drive Alert Arrive Alive, emphasizes that pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility between motorists and pedestrians. Visit www.dot.ga.gov/SBS.

Summer construction roadwork is underway across Georgia. Before you get on the road, call 511 or visit www.511ga.org for real-time information about active construction, incidents and road conditions.Pay extra attention in work zones – slow down and watch for workers.  Work zone safety is everybody’s responsibility. 

Gilmer and Pickens counties awarded GDOT contract

Community, Politics

ATLANTA – (May 30, 2018) | Senator Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) recently announced a $443,765 contract award to Gilmer and Pickens counties from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). This is a part of the more than $112 million awarded to transportation projects statewide. The anticipated completion date for the project is January 31, 2019.

“I would like to thank GDOT and our local officials for coming together to address bridge rehabilitation in Gilmer and Pickens counties,” said Sen. Gooch. “Addressing existing infrastructure by making improvements ensures our citizens are driving on safe and updated bridges. Driver safety remains a top priority, and I believe projects like this are critical to moving our state forward when it comes to our citizens’ transportation needs. I will continue to work with GDOT to bring additional projects to our local communities.”

The project in Gilmer and Pickens counties will address bridge rehabilitation on State Route (SR) 515 at six locations:

  1. SR 515-Nover CR 234- CSX RR – Gilmer County
  2. SR 515over CR 234- CSX RR – Gilmer County
  3. SR 515over SR 136 – Pickens County
  4. SR 515over SR 136 – Pickens County
  5. SR 515over Talona Creek – Pickens County
  6. SR 515over Talona Creek – Pickens County.

Full details for the project can be found at http://www.dot.ga.gov/applications/geopi/Pages/Dashboard.aspx?ProjectId=M005671.

Details on all projects awarded can be found through the Award Announcement Downloads link here.

Information on schedules, lane closures and detours will be made available on the Georgia DOT Website in advance of construction activities.

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Sen. Steve Gooch serves as Majority Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus. He represents the 51st Senate District which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Union and White counties and portions of Forsyth and Pickens counties.  He may be reached at 404.656.9221 or via email at steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov

Gooch: Senate Gets Down to Business

State & National

Senate Gets Down to Business

By: Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)

Although the Senate was in session for only two days this week, my colleagues and I were very busy under the Gold Dome addressing budget proposals and a key piece of legislation on the Senate Floor.

The week started with Joint Senate and House Appropriations hearings on the Amended FY18 and General FY19 budgets. Governor Deal kicked off the hearings which included several different agencies presenting their budget proposals. I am happy to say that the state’s budget continues to be in good shape, with the General FY19 budget topping $26 billion for the first time. The General FY19 budget proposals were drafted with an estimated 2.9 percent state fund growth and around 3.8 percent tax revenue growth over the Amended FY18 revenue estimates. Included in the General FY19 budget are increases in funding for education and transportation.

The General FY19 budget addresses the needs for the state to meet determined employer contributions within the Teachers Retirement System with a proposed increase of around $364 million. Additionally, around $120 million would be appropriated for enrollment growth and training. Along with these positive changes in the General FY19 budget, an important proposal in the Amended FY18 budget is adding $15 million to purchase 194 school buses statewide. This will positively impact our students by ensuring that buses are not overcrowded.

The state’s growing need to address transportation infrastructure is also addressed in the General FY19 budget. An additional $31.6 million in projected revenues resulting from House Bill 170 – passed during the 2015 Legislation Session – will be added to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) budget. I am very happy to see that a piece of legislation we passed a couple of years ago is still making positive impacts for GDOT.

Along with attending the budget hearings and carefully reviewing the proposals for the Amended FY18 and General FY19 budgets, my colleagues and I took up a very important piece of legislation in Senate Chamber. On Thursday, the Senate passed the Supporting and Strengthening Families Act, also known as the Adoption Bill, or HB 159. This bill passed with bipartisan support and is now headed over to the House of Representatives for their review. Final passage of this legislation and a signature into law by the Governor would allow our state to update our adoption system which has been the same for nearly 30 years.

The Senate’s version of HB 159 clarifies many of the laws regarding who can adopt, who can act as a legal guardian and the rights held by the biological parents before and after giving their child up for adoption. Additionally, the version the Senate passed on Thursday states that if an agency is not involved in a private adoptive process, living expenses cannot be paid. The only expenses that can be paid in a private adoption are medical and counseling. These are just some of the highlights of the Senate version of HB 159. As this legislation moves through the legislative process, my colleagues and I will work with the Governor and House of Representatives to ensure there is cooperation to address concerns anyone may have. It is imperative that we pass this legislation so that we can assist the large number of children who are in foster care and need a loving and stable home.

The pace of the session is going to pick up quickly with standing committees beginning to hold meetings next week to vet legislation pending from last year along with new bills introduced this year. As we move forward in the session, please do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns and feedback. It is always great to hear from my constituents and our door is always open.

Georgia DOT Contracts Awarded for Senate District 51

Press Release

 

Press Release

 

Contact:           Ines Owens, Acting Director

ines.owens@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028

 

Georgia DOT Contracts Awarded for Senate District 51GDOT

 

ATLANTA (January 25, 2017) | The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) awarded approximately $8.6 million for road projects in Senate District 51 as part of a $54 million statewide construction and maintenance upgrade. Projects for Senate District 51 were announced as part of the 2016 November and December awards.

 

“Maintenance and upgrades for existing roads continue to be a critical issue for our local communities,” said Senator Steve Gooch(R – Dahlonega). “I commend GDOT for acknowledging the needs within our community and awarding projects to Senate District 51. These projects will increase safety, decrease congestion and ensure that existing infrastructure needs are met.”

 

Dawson County was awarded a project totaling around $3.8 million. This funding will go toward construction of a roundabout on State Route 53 at State Route 183. The anticipated completion date for this project is May 31, 2018.

 

A project totaling around $4.5 million was awarded to address approximately 53 miles of plant mix resurfacing and surface treatment paving at five locations across Fannin and Pickens Counties. These upgrades will be completed by November 30, 2017. Along with this award, Pickens County was awarded an additional project totaling $292,243. This project will increase safety throughout the county by funding signing and pavement marking upgrades at railroad crossing location throughout the county. The anticipated completion date for these projects is May 31, 2018.

 

Information on schedules, lane closures and detours will be made available on the Georgia DOT Website in advance of construction activities.

 

Details on all projects awarded can be found through the Award Announcement Downloads link at https://www.bidx.com/ga/letting?lettingid=16052001. Click on Award Announcement on the right.

 

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Sen. Steve Gooch serves as Majority Whip of the Senate Majority Caucus. He represents the 51st Senate District which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Union and White counties and portions of Forsyth and Pickens counties.  He may be reached at 404.656.9221 or via email at steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov.

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County Looks to SPLOST to Counter Funding Cuts

Featured Stories, News

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) said it will cut road funding to Pickens County, BOC Chairman Robert Jones says. (more…)

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