Residents and visitors traveling through Hickory Flat have noticed concrete walls along the road at East Cherokee Drive and Highway 140.

The walls are part of a project to add turn lanes and make other improvements to the intersection, according to Cherokee County officials.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is expected to widen Highway 140 in Cherokee County, but not until the 2030s. To help ease traffic issues until then, the county is widening the Highway 140 and East Cherokee Drive intersection.

The county’s plans on the project are to add turn lanes on all four directions of the intersection, install sidewalks at the location and improve sight distance at the intersection near the McDonald’s, Cherokee County Communications Director Erika Neldner told the Tribune.

“The walls were constructed to support the new roadway and eliminate the need to impact parking at the commercial properties,” Neldner said. “The culvert has been placed in front of the Waffle House, and the roadway will be raised and widened soon.”

County officials currently estimate that the project to widen the Highway 140/East Cherokee Drive intersection will be completed in December. But the walls may be here to stay.

“The walls will remain after the project is complete,” Neldner said. “County staff is researching a special anti-graffiti coating that will enhance aesthetics.”

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