Verify: Did people know about Highway 80 closure?

Verify: Did people know about Highway 80 closure?

Part of Highway 80 West in Crawford County will be closed for the next six months.

Some of you weren't too pleased to hear that and shared your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Gabrielle Dawkins set out to Verify: Did the state Department of Transportation and local authorities notify people in Crawford County ahead of time about Highway 80 closing?

Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker says he was one of the people left a little confused about the road closure. He said he learned about it Monday evening after a contractor posted detour signs.

"It was right before 5:00. That's when I found out that they had put the signs up and saying that the road was going to be closed," said Lewis.

He remembers county officials meeting with the Georgia Department of Transportation in 2015 about the closing, but says they never gave them a date.

However, we ran down the paper trail from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

They sent out two releases informing people about the closure. Kimberly Lawson sent one email on September 8th, 2016 and another on March 28, 2017.

That latest statement last month said work would start Monday, April 10th.

"We didn't get notified, so being here, that's our role and we took it and did the best we could with it," said Lewis.

District 1 Crawford County Commissioner Sterling Braswell says that he held two meetings in the past two months informing people about the upcoming closure.

He said state officials told him about this week's start date.

Dawkins: "How did you all let people in the community know about this road closure?"
Braswell: "Well, notification in the paper, and it was discussed."

 So we verified that it's TRUE that the state Department of Transportation provided notice of the highway closing.

Construction crews will replace a 4-barrel culvert and create a new concrete bridge.

The cost for this project is estimated at $1.2 million.

Sources: County Commissioner Sterling Braswell
News releases from DOT's  Communications Officer Kimberly Larson

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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