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Salem Road project starts

CONYERS -- An intersection improvement project at Salem and Spring roads began Wednesday as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Work crews will widen Salem Road, also known as Ga. Highway 162, and relocate Spring Road to provide turn lanes. A traffic signal will also be installed at the intersection, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

State transportation officials urged motorists to slow down and use extra caution in the work zone. The project is budgeted at $820,000 and is expected to be completed by December 2010. The contractor is Pittman Construction of Conyers.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed by Congress earlier this year to provide funding to jump start transportation projects and create jobs during the current economic downturn.

Georgia has allocated $369.6 million in ARRA funding for transportation projects. Nationwide, $48 billion is going toward transportation infrastructure, according to a statement released by GDOT.

Locally, ARRA funding has gone toward resurfacing projects on Ga. 162 from the Newton County line to Dogwood Drive, Ga. Highway 20 from the Newton County line to Interstate 20, and Ga. 20 from Ga. Highway 138 to Milstead Avenue.

The Salem/Spring road intersection project is the first ARRA-funded project to begin in Newton County.