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New bypass should keep large trucks out of downtown

The long-awaited opening of the new Thomson Bypass is right around the corner.

With that in mind, the larger trucks that have traditionally passed along Main and Jackson streets in downtown Thomson is expected to become a thing of the past.

And such is pleasing to city officials, who still are involved in revitalization projects and want to restore shopping to the downtown area.

"I'll be glad when it opens," said Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry, who prefers to call the new bypass the new truck route. "It will certainly free up a lot of downtown traffic with these big trucks and that's what we want."

Deliveries of merchandise made by big trucks to downtown merchants still will be permitted.

"There won't be that many of them and generally those deliveries are made earlier in the day," said Mayor Usry. "So it shouldn't cause much of a problem for our local motorists."

The new Thomson Bypass, a project which has been in the making for more than two years, is expected to officially open Wednesday, Oct. 27, weather permitting, according to Cissy McNure, a spokesperson with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

She pointed out that some locations along the bypass will have only one lane open in each direction, since construction would not totally be completed in all lanes.

Ms. McNure cautioned motorists to use extreme care when traveling through the construction zone areas along the bypass, as well as other road construction zones across the state.

Motorists using the new bypass in McDuffie County also are warned that several new traffic signals have been installed at various intersections.

Those traffic signals were placed on "flash mode" Wednesday.

"They will flash yellow on the Thomson Bypass and flash red at all intersecting roadways," said Ms. McNure. "The signals will become fully operational Wednesday, Oct. 27 -- weather permitting."

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," added Ms. McNure.

"Additional transportation revenues are imperative to grow and sustain Georgia's economic vitality and quality of life through the 21st Century."

Georgia is the third fastest growing state in the nation, yet ranks 49th in per capita spending on transportation, she said.

For general information on the Georgia DOT, please visit their website at

Web posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

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