ELLIJAY, Ga. – Highway 382 has seen construction on the roundabout project to connect a direct route to Highway 515 for nearly a year. The Georgia Department of Transportation project began in the latter half of 2019 despite the COVID-19 outbreaks and is still continuing today.
However, the project has hit the point now where all traffic has been moved from the old route passing directly beside Green’s Country Store to the new path curving off just past Dollar General, if you’re traveling towards Ellijay.
The stop signs at the old intersection have been removed and traffic is now fully engaging the roundabout with the Highway 382 extension in use as well.
Utilizing the extension that now crosses Old Highway 5, via the roundabout, and continues straight towards Highway 515 instead of merging with Old Highway 5 before a a small connector split off to intersect 515 at Powersports Drive.
The new direct path intersects Highway closer to town at the Gun Pro Shop. However, the intersection is not a traffic stop.
Instead, drivers traveling to 515 along the new connection are forced to turn right (Southbound) away from Ellijay before using a turn lane a few hundred feet down the road in order to turn back towards Ellijay.
The project reaches all the way back to 2016 when the Gilmer Board of Commissioners and the City of Ellijay received letters from GDOT about the coming project. Original seeking letters of support, discussion later turned towards lighting and maintenance costs for the roundabout itself as GDOT wanted the county or city to take over those costs while they continued paving maintenance for 382 itself.
Current understanding is that these are the remaining steps in the project as GDOT has put some lighting on the roundabout for night traffic, but it was not seen operational over the weekend.
While the project continues these steps and clean-up, the larger portion of the project is now complete and has begun traffic flow only in the last couple of days. GDOT stated earlier this year that expectations were to complete the project over the summer. The project has seen delays through weather over the last year, but no specific details are available at this time on whether returning COVID-19 numbers or increasingly heavy rainfall in some weeks were the cause of any major delays.