Georgia State Route 53
|Maintained by GDOT|
|Length:||172.15 mi (277.04 km)|
|West end:||US 411 / SR 25 at the Alabama state line west of Cave Spring|
|SR 316 southeast of Winder|
US 441 Bus. / SR 15 / SR 24 Bus. in Watkinsville
|Counties:||Floyd, Gordon, Pickens, Dawson, Forsyth, Hall, Jackson, Barrow, Oconee|
State Route 53 (SR 53) is a west-to-east state route located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. The route travels from the Alabama state line west of Cave Spring northeast, then east, then southeast to SR 15/SR 24 Business in Watkinsville.
Western terminus to Dawsonville
From its western terminus at the Alabama state line, SR 53 travels east through Floyd County, co-signed with US 411. After a brief concurrency with SR 100 in Cave Spring, US 411 and SR 53 continue northeast to the community of Six Mile. There, the routes become co-signed with US 27 and SR 1, and all four travel north to Rome. In Rome, US 411 departs to the east, and US 27/SR 1/SR 53 travel north, joined by SR 20. Just to the east of downtown, SR 53 departs from the other routes and travels northeast, running parallel to the Oostanaula River and through Shannon into Gordon County. South of Calhoun, the route arcs to the east, intersecting US 41 and I-75 before continuing east. After a brief second concurrency with US 411 and SR 61 in Fairmount, SR 53 continues east into Pickens County. West of Jasper, the route becomes co-signed with SR 5/SR 515, and they travel southeast to SR 108. SR 53 departs SR 5 and SR 515 and continues east, now co-signed with SR 108. SR 108 ends in Tate at the same crossroads as SR 53 Business, but SR 53 continues east into Dawson County to Dawsonville.
Dawsonville to eastern terminus
After a brief concurrency with SR 9 around the courthouse in Dawsonville, SR 53 continues to the southeast, intersecting US 19/SR 400 southeast of Dawsonville. SR 53 continues southeast into Forsyth County, then turns to the northeast near the eastern terminus of SR 306. After running northeast into Hall County and crossing the Chestatee River branch of Lake Lanier, the route again turns to the southeast, then crosses over the Chattahoochee River branch of Lake Lanier. West of Gainesville, SR 53 turns to the southwest, then turns sharply to the southeast near the community of Oakwood, and continues southeast, intersecting I-985. The route continues to head southeast, briefly becoming co-signed with SR 211, then crosses into Jackson County and intersects I-85 in Braselton. This section of the route passes by both Road Atlanta and Lanier National Speedway. Crossing into Barrow County, SR 53 becomes co-signed with SR 11 and SR 211 in the northern portion of Winder. The three routes continue south into downtown Winder. There, SR 211 departs to the northwest, and SR 11 and SR 53 continue southeast, now also co-signed with US 29 Bus and SR 8. Southeast of downtown Winder, SR 11 departs, and US 29 Bus/SR 8/SR 53 continue to the junction with US 29 and SR 316, where US 29 Bus terminates, SR 8 continues east, and SR 53 continues southeast into Oconee County. After crossing US 78, SR 53 assumes an easterly routing, crossing US 129/US 441/SR 24, before meeting its eastern terminus at SR 15/SR 24 Business in downtown Watkinsville.
The Georgia Department of Transportation average annual daily traffic (AADT) numbers for the year 2011 show a variety of daily averages across SR 53. In Floyd County, average traffic loads west of Rome hover around 4,000 vehicles per day, with a maximum of 5,000 in Cave Spring. Those numbers increase rapidly as the route approaches Rome, increasing to an average of about 17,000, with a peak of 30,000 in downtown Rome, where SR 53 is concurrent with US 27, SR 1, and SR 20. The average loads dip back down to around 14,000 vehicles north of Rome, and hit a low of around 9,000 vehicles as the route crosses into Gordon County. The vehicle load fluctuates back up into a range from 12,000 to 23,000 in and around Calhoun and approaching I-75, and drops rapidly again east of I-75, reaching lows of just above 4,000 average vehicles. Briefly increasing again to 8,000 in Fairmount, the route carries around 4,000 vehicles per day between Fairmount and SR 5/SR 515.
In and around Jasper, where SR 53 is concurrent with SR 5/SR 515, the route carries between 14,000 and 24,000 vehicles, before rapidly decreasing again to an average load of around 5,000 while concurrent with SR 108. SR 53 then sees the lowest average vehicle load on its way across north Georgia between Pickens County and Dawson County, where the averages drop to around 2,500 vehicles per day. Traffic picks up again west of Dawsonville, and reaches numbers of around 13,000 where the route feeds Dawson County and Forsyth County traffic to SR 400. Once the route crosses into Hall County and approaches Gainesville, numbers increase yet again to around 23,000 vehicles per day north and into Gainesville, and reach nearly 28,000 vehicles as the route feeds I-985. The averages drop rapidly south of I-985 to around 7,000 as the route approaches Jackson County, and the average only increases again to around 10,000 as SR 53 feeds I-85 and then approaches Winder in Barrow County. South and east of Winder, averages drop down to between 3,500 and 5,000 vehicles per day, but then increase one last time to just under 16,000 in Watkinsville, as the route reaches its eastern terminus.
The first portions of the roadway that is signed as SR 53 today makes its appearance on Georgia state road maps in 1921, which show the portion of the route from south of Calhoun, through Fairmount, and on to Jasper. That entire portion was already signed as SR 53 at the time; however, this designation was also used in 1921 for the road connecting Calhoun with LaFayette and Chattanooga in Tennessee, which is signed as SR 136 today. By 1926, the Calhoun-to-Fairmount portion was shown as having a sand, clay, or topsoil surface, while the Fairmount-to-Jasper portion appeared as being graded but unimproved.
By 1929, the stretch from Rome to Calhoun had been added and signed as SR 53, with the southern half having been finished in a semi-hard surface, and the northern portion being surfaced with one of the soft surface materials. Another large portion of the route, running from Jasper to Dawsonville, on to Gainesville, and continuing to Winder, had also been graded by 1929, but did not appear to be signed yet. By early in 1932, the route had been extended to start at the Alabama state line, with some of the portion from the state line to Cave Spring, and a portion into Rome, appearing to be surfaced with hard cover, and the remainder of the route between the state line and Rome being covered in soft material. About half of the route out of Rome had also been improved to hard surface, and the same was the case for the entire portion between Fairmount and Jasper, as well as more than half of the portion between Jasper and Dawsonville, and part of the stretch between Gainesville and Winder. In addition, the entire existing route, from Rome to Winder, was signed as SR 53 by 1932.
The final stretch of the main route of SR 53 appeared in August 1933, when the portion from Winder to Watkinsville was shown as graded but unimproved for the first time. Very little had changed otherwise, and the road surface conditions had remained static since early in 1932. By early in 1935, the only change of note to the route was the fact that the portion from the Alabama state line to Rome had by then been co-signed with US 411. In 1945, only portions of the route were not yet improved to feature hard surface; namely, the stretches from west of Calhoun to Fairmount, and the portion between Winder and Watkinsville were the only unimproved parts. It was 1953 before the entirety of the route was marked on Georgia highway maps as having been covered with hard surface.
SR 53's routing was changed between 1955 and 1957 on the stretch of the route between Dawsonville and Gainesville, due to the construction of the new Lake Lanier Reservoir. Until the change, the route did not run through Forsyth County, but accessed Hall County directly from Dawson County by running east and then southeast into Gainesville. By 1957, SR 53 dipped further southeast into Forsyth County, then cuts straight east into Hall County before resuming its original path to Gainesville. From around 1960 until its decommissioning around 1986, the former SR 318 ran from SR 9, crossed the former SR 9E, and terminated at SR 53 just southeast of where SR 53 and SR 400 intersect today. Former SR 318 today goes by the name Dawson Forest Road.
Until 2007, the main route of SR 53 ran through downtown Jasper, following what is today signed as SR 53 Business. In 2006-2007, the route was realigned to follow SR 5/515 and SR 108 south and east around Jasper.
As of 2014, GDOT plans to demolish the steel-truss bridge that carries Georgia 53 over Lake Lanier at the Forsyth/Hall county line. Built when the Chestatee River was flooded to create the lake, the Boling Bridge will be replaced with a much more bland structure. Because this will destroy the large nests built by ospreys atop the current bridge, new platforms about 30 feet (9 m) high will be installed on and near the new bridge for nesting.
|Floyd||||0.000||0.000||US 411 west / SR 25 – Centre||Western terminus of SR 53; continues as US 411 and SR 25 into Alabama; western terminus of concurrency with US 411 in Georgia|
|Cave Spring||4.447||7.157||SR 100 north (Fosters Mill Road) – Livingston||Western terminus of concurrency with SR 100|
|5.089||8.190||SR 100 south (Mill Road) – Cedartown||Eastern terminus of concurrency with SR 100|
|Six Mile||14.893||23.968||US 27 south / SR 1 (Cedartown Highway/Rome Highway) – Cedartown||Southern terminus of concurrency with US 27 and SR 1|
|Rome||19.640||31.608||US 411 east / SR 20 (Cartersville Highway) – Canton||Southern terminus of concurrency with SR 20; eastern terminus of concurrency with US 411|
|20.423||32.868||SR 101 south (Rockmart Highway) – Silver Creek|
|21.756||35.013||US 27 north / SR 1 north (Old Summerville Road) / SR 20 west (Shorter Avenue) – Summerville||Northern terminus of concurrency with US 27, SR 1, and SR 20|
|21.942||35.312||SR 293 east (Kingston Highway) – Kingston|
|24.376||39.229||SR 1 Loop|
|Shannon||32.372||52.098||SR 140 (Turkey Mountain Road/Adairsville Road) – Armuchee, Adairsville|
|Gordon||Calhoun||41.003||65.988||SR 53 Spur north – Calhoun|
|43.608||70.180||US 41 (Wall Street) / SR 3 – Adairsville, Resaca|
|44.676||71.899||I‑75 south – Atlanta|
|Fairmount||58.590||94.291||US 411 south / SR 61 (Salacoa Avenue) – Cartersville||Southern terminus of concurrency with US 411 and SR 61|
|58.923||94.827||US 411 north / SR 61 – Chatsworth||Northern terminus of concurrency with US 411 and SR 61|
|Pickens||Hinton||67.981||109.405||SR 136 Conn. north – Talking Rock|
|Jasper||75.555||121.594||SR 5 north / SR 515 – Talking Rock||Northern terminus of concurrency with SR 5 and SR 515|
|||80.144||128.979||SR 5 south / SR 515 – Ball Ground||Southern terminus of concurrency with SR 5 and SR 515|
|Tate||82.338||132.510||SR 53 Bus. north – Jasper|
|Dawson||||99.085||159.462||SR 183 north (Elliott Family Parkway) – Juno|
|Dawsonville||101.617||163.537||SR 9 south – Silver City||Western terminus of concurrency with SR 9|
|101.724||163.709||SR 9 north – Dahlonega||Eastern terminus of concurrency with SR 9|
|||108.219||174.162||US 19 south / SR 400 – Cumming|
|Forsyth||||113.894||183.295||SR 306 south (Keith Bridge Road) – Coal Mountain|
|Hall||Gainesville||122.597||197.301||SR 53 Conn. east – Gainesville|
|124.738||200.746||SR 369 west (Browns Bridge Road) – Coal Mountain|
|Oakwood||129.283||208.061||I‑985 / US 23 / SR 365 (Lanier Parkway)|
|129.658||208.664||SR 13 north (Atlanta Highway) – Gainesville|
|Chestnut Mountain||133.949||215.570||SR 211 south (Old Winder Highway) – Braselton||Northern terminus of concurrency with SR 211|
|134.311||216.153||SR 211 north (Tanners Mill Road)||Southern terminus of concurrency with SR 211|
|Jackson||Braselton||140.059||225.403||I‑85 south – Atlanta|
|140.617||226.301||SR 124 east (Lewis Braselton Boulevard)||Northern terminus of concurrency with SR 124|
|140.642||226.341||SR 124 west (Broadway Avenue)||Southern terminus of concurrency with SR 124|
|Hoschton||141.615||227.907||SR 332 north (Pendergrass Road) – Pendergrass|
|Barrow||Winder||149.051||239.874||SR 11 east / SR 211 east (Jefferson Highway) – Jefferson, Statham||Northern terminus of concurrency with SR 11 and SR 211|
|149.966||241.347||SR 82 east (Broad Street)|
|150.530||242.255||SR 211 west (W Athens Street)||Southern terminus of concurrency with SR 211|
US 29 Bus. west / SR 8 west / SR 81 south (Atlanta Highway) – Auburn, Loganville
|Western terminus of concurrency with US 29 Bus and SR 8|
|151.563||243.917||SR 11 south (Monroe Highway) – Monroe||Southern terminus of concurrency with SR 11|
US 29 / US 29 Bus. / SR 8 east / SR 316 – Lawrenceville, Athens
|Eastern terminus of concurrency with US 29 Bus and SR 8|
|Oconee||||161.568||260.018||US 78 / SR 10 (Monroe Highway) – Monroe, Athens|
|Watkinsville||171.421||275.875||US 129 / US 441 / SR 24 (Macon Highway/Watkinsville Bypass) – Madison, Athens|
|172.146||277.042||SR 15 (Main Street) – Greensboro, Athens||Eastern terminus of SR 53|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
SR 53 Spur in Calhoun
|Length:||2.930 mi (4.715 km)|
State Route 53 Spur continues north and northeast into downtown Calhoun as the main route of SR 53 makes a sharp turn to the east and southeast and bypasses Calhoun to its south. The spur terminates at its intersection with US 41 and SR 3 in the heart of Calhoun.
|0.000||0.000||SR 53 south – Rome|
|2.719||4.376||SR 136 Conn. north|
|2.930||4.715||US 41 / SR 3 – Adairsville, Resaca|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
SR 53 Business in Jasper
|Length:||6.434 mi (10.355 km)|
State Route 53 Business is a 6.434 miles (10.355 km) business branch of SR 53, which continues east into downtown Jasper as the main route of SR 53 turns southeast, concurrent with SR 5 and SR 515. In the heart of Jasper, SR 53 Bus turns southeast and utilizes what used to be the original routing of SR 5 through Jasper, which was re-designated as SR 5A in 1982. SR 53 Business meets the main SR 53 route again in Tate, where SR 53 is concurrent with SR 108. SR 53 Bus follows the original routing of SR 53 through Jasper.
SR 53 Connector in Gainesville
|Length:||1.790 mi (2.881 km)|
State Route 53 Connector runs east into Gainesville and forms a 1.790 miles (2.881 km) connecting route between the SR 53 mainline, which turns sharply southwest and then south, and SR 60, which in turn connects downtown Gainesville with I-985.
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