Two road improvement projects aimed at relieving traffic congestion in the area near Atlanta Motor Speedway are currently underway on State Route 20 in Henry County. These two projects are part of an effort by the Georgia DOT to four lane SR-20 from I-75 to US-19/41. DOT Commissioner Tom Coleman has said, "This is a heavily traveled section of road that has seen backups in the past, particularly on the weekends when events are held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, and it¿s my pleasure to offer relief to this overburdened corridor" The first project was authorized for construction in August of 2002 and work began in September of 2002. This project consists of construction of 4.697 miles of new location roadway on SR-20, beginning west of US-19/41 and extending to a point just west of the Towaliga River, tying into Richard Petty Boulevard, which is an access road to the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The construction will include grading, drainage, base and paving, and intersection improvements. East King and South Hampton roads will be realigned, McDonough Street will be relocated, five bridges and a ramp over the railroad will be constructed as a part of this $21 million project. According to the Area Engineer, Marc Mastronardi, the clearing work on this project is now about 5% complete. "The contractor on this project, E R Snell Contractor, will soon start moving fill dirt into place for the bridges. Once the fill dirt is in place, there is a 90-day waiting period before construction on the end bents of the bridges can be started, but there will plenty of other activity during those 90 days," said Mastronardi. "Right now, all the work is off US-19/41 and there will be no impact to traffic any time soon." The contractor has until later 2004 to complete this project. The second project currently under construction consists of 5.388 miles of widening for additional lanes on SR-20 between a point west of the Towaliga River at Richard Petty Boulevard to State Route 81. Work on this project was authorized in November of 2002 and the project was awarded to Puryear & Sons Grading. Construction of this $12.5 million project will consist of widening, realignment of several intersections, grading, drainage, base and paving. The intersections involved in relocation are New Morn Road, Rocky Creek Road, Oakland Road, Farris Road, Nail Drive, Industrial Parkway, and Greenwood Road. Two bridges are scheduled for construction on this phase. This project is just getting underway and is expected to be complete by mid-2005.