Friday, March 06, 2015

GDOT blowing up rock underground near Mars Hill Road today

Watkinsville, Ga. – There was not a blast yesterday in Watkinsville, rain prevented the planned controlled blast. Crews are now working to execute one controlled blast today and one Monday to remove rock and make room for a culvert near Barber Creek Drive.

“Controlled blasting is anticlimactic; the dynamite is covered by tons of dirt and blast mats allowing only a puff of dirt, without much sound. We will stop traffic for about five minutes on Mars Hill Road at Barber Creek Drive as the blast occurs to ensure no one is within 500 feet of the blast area. Businesses in the area have been notified and we have also notified the Oconee County Fire Department of the plans. Depending on the amount of rock removed during each blast, there could be fewer blasts or more. The plan is for one blast today and one Monday,” explained Harold Mull, Georgia DOT District Construction Engineer.

Water line relocation will impact traffic Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. if weather cooperates. One lane at a time of Mars Hill Road as it turns onto Daniels Bridge Road at Mars Hill Baptist Church will be closed.

The project will widen Mars Hill Road/Oconee Connector from State Route 316 to State Route 53/Hog Mountain Road improving mobility locally in Watkinsville and for the region in to and out of Clarke County. The new road will have four lanes that are 12 feet wide with a 20 feet wide grassy median. It will also have bike lanes and a sidewalk in each direction. As part of the project, a new bridge will be built over Barber Creek, replacing the existing bridge was built in 1944.

G.P.’s Enterprises of Auburn, Georgia is the Project’s Contractor. The contract completion date for this 3.299 mile long project is May 26, 2018 - 56 days were added to the overall completion date because of the delay in issuing the notice to proceed to the Contractor. The contract cost is $26.3 million.

If you would like to receive email updates on the project please call Teri Pope at 770-718-3924 or email her at

The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment. For more information on Georgia DOT, please visit or subscribe to our Press Release RSS feed. You also may follow us on Facebook ( ) and Twitter (
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