McGinnis Ferry Nears Completion
Businesses say customers are increasing and traffic is flowing more smoothly.
The road widening project on McGinnis Ferry Road is effectively complete after four long years of residents and businesses navigating the narrow lanes, pesky orange barrels, barricades and road graders.
Many businesses along the corridor are relieved now that most of the work is done. It is also a welcome relief that all lanes are open from Sargent Road to the Chattahoochee River, though landscaping and sidewalk construction are still in progress. There will still be some delays as crews add lanes to the Chattahoochee River bridge.
Aldo Pereira, manager of Chipotle in the Johns Creek Village shopping center, says he has seen a slight uptick in business since the roadwork is nearly completed. He says, “traffic is more fluid and moving a lot more freely, so we are seeing more customers come to our restaurant.”
Tony Skinner, manager at Jason’s Deli, in the same shopping center, shares the same sentiment. He said, “Last week we had a good week and we are seeing more customers come in now that the road work is near completion,” though he cautioned it was too early to say if the trend would continue.
Kelsey McNeely, staff supervisor at Z Pizza, said the restauran'ts customers are gradually increasing, though the uptick in store traffic isn’t drastic, but it’s moving in the right direction. An employee at the Shell gas station at 6950 McGinnis Ferry Road, said business has improved tremendously.
When Patch previously spoke to Vimal Parag, owner of Healthmart Pharmacy of Johns Creek, he was exasperated with the drop in business and the poor visibility for customers and potential customers to see whether or not he was open for business. He is relieved that the road work is basically complete. “Things are going much better and business is picking up. The visibility for entrance and egress has improved drastically,” he said.
Eastbound traffic shifted at the Chattahoochee River Bridge from the southern pair of lanes to one of the lanes on the north side on July 28, according to GDOT. Westbound traffic is not impacted by this construction. Completion of the bridge is expected by April 30, 2012.
The road-widening project, which costs $40.7 million, runs along the northern border of Johns Creek from the Chattahoochee River west to Sargent Road. The original completion date was July 2010, after utility work commenced July 2007. The deadline was extended when C.W. Matthews said the extent of the utility relocation was so enormous that the crews needed more time. GDOT granted the company a nine-month extension to April 30, 2011, but when that deadline passed, C.W. Matthews was slapped with a $1,000 per day fine until the work is completed. The contractor also blamed the inclement weather during the winter as a reason for additional delays.
In addition to the road-widening in which extra lanes were added, GDOT installed four new traffic signals along the five-mile route. Motorists will notice less traffic delays and a smoother ride, but there are still road crews applying necessary traffic markings. Finally, businesses and commuters will see the light at the end of the tunnel as a long, arduous process is coming to a close and life along McGinnis Ferry returns to a state of normalcy.