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|
|East end||US 129 Bus. / 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 172.146-mile-long (277.042 km) west-to-east state highway located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Georgia. The highway travels from the Alabama state line west of Cave Spring northeast, then east, then southeast to US 129 Bus./US 441 Bus./SR 15/SR 24 Bus. 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 US 129 Bus./US 441 Bus./SR 15/SR 24 Bus. 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.
National Highway System
The following portions of SR 53 are part of the National Highway System, a system of routes determined to be the most important for the nation's economy, mobility, and defense:
- From the southern end of the US 27/SR 1 concurrency, in Six Mile, to SR 1 Loop in the northeastern part of Rome
- From SR 53 Spur, southeast of Calhoun, to the western end of the SR 211 concurrency, in Chestnut Mountain
- From the western end of the SR 11 and SR 211 concurrencies, in Winder, to US 29/SR 316, west of Statham
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.
SR 53 is planning on being widened in two phases, first from the intersection with Mars Hill Road/Hog Mountain Road until its interchange with US 441/US 129/SR 24, all of which is west of Watkinsville (Phase II). Construction is planned to begin in 2022. Then, it's also planned to be widened from the interchange until the intersection with US 129 Bus./US 441 Bus./SR 15/SR 24 Bus. in Watkinsville (Phase III).  Construction on this phase is planned to begin in 2051. Phase I was the widening of Mars Hill Road, which is still under construction, according to GDOT.  All these phases are a result of Oconee County being one of the most fastest growing counties in Georgia, and GDOT wants the traffic to be not congested badly in the future.
|Floyd||||0.000||0.000||US 411 west / SR 25 – Centre||Western terminus at the Alabama state line; continues as US 411 and SR 25 into Alabama; western end of US 411 concurrency|
|Cave Spring||4.447||7.157||SR 100 north (Fosters Mill Road) – Livingston||Western end of SR 100 concurrency|
|5.089||8.190||SR 100 south (Mill Road) – Cedartown||Eastern end of SR 100 concurrency|
|Six Mile||14.893||23.968||US 27 south / SR 1 (Cedartown Highway/Rome Highway) – Cedartown||Western end of US 27/SR 1 concurrency|
|Rome||19.640||31.608||US 411 east / SR 20 (Cartersville Highway) – Canton||Western end of SR 20 concurrency; eastern end of US 411 concurrency|
|20.423||32.868||SR 101 south (Rockmart Highway) – Silver Creek||Northern terminus of SR 101|
|21.756||35.013||US 27 north / SR 1 north (Old Summerville Road) / SR 20 west (Shorter Avenue) – Summerville||Eastern end of US 27/SR 1 and SR 20 concurrencies|
|21.942||35.312||SR 293 east (Kingston Highway) – Kingston||Western terminus of SR 293|
|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||Southern terminus of SR 53 Spur|
|43.608||70.180||US 41 (Wall Street) / SR 3 – Adairsville, Resaca|
|44.676||71.899||I-75 south (SR 401) – Atlanta|
|Fairmount||58.590||94.291||US 411 south / SR 61 (Salacoa Avenue) – Cartersville||Western end of US 411/SR 61 concurrency|
|58.923||94.827||US 411 north / SR 61 – Chatsworth||Eastern end of US 411/SR 61 concurrency|
|Pickens||Hinton||67.981||109.405||SR 136 Conn. north – Talking Rock||Southern terminus of SR 136 Conn.|
|Jasper||75.555||121.594||SR 5 north / SR 515 – Talking Rock||Western end of SR 5/SR 515 concurrency|
|||80.144||128.979||SR 5 south / SR 515 – Ball Ground||Eastern end of SR 5/SR 515 concurrency|
|Tate||82.338||132.510||SR 53 Bus. north – Jasper||Southern terminus of SR 53 Bus.|
|Dawson||||99.085||159.462||SR 183 north (Elliott Family Parkway) – Juno||Southern terminus of SR 183|
|Dawsonville||101.617||163.537||SR 9 south – Silver City||Western end of SR 9 concurrency|
|101.724||163.709||SR 9 north – Dahlonega||Eastern end of SR 9 concurrency|
|||108.219||174.162||US 19 / SR 400 – Cumming|
|Forsyth||||113.894||183.295||SR 306 south (Keith Bridge Road) – Coal Mountain||Northern terminus of SR 306|
|Hall||Gainesville||122.597||197.301||SR 53 Conn. east – Gainesville||Western terminus of SR 53 Conn.|
|124.738||200.746||SR 369 west (Browns Bridge Road) – Coal Mountain||Eastern terminus of SR 369|
|Oakwood||129.283||208.061||I-985 (SR 419) / US 23 / SR 365 (Lanier Parkway)||I-985 northbound exit 16; I-985 southbound exit 17|
|129.658||208.664||SR 13 (Atlanta Highway) – Gainesville|
|Chestnut Mountain||133.949||215.570||SR 211 south (Old Winder Highway) – Braselton||Western end of SR 211 concurrency|
|134.311||216.153||SR 211 north (Tanners Mill Road)||Eastern end of SR 211 concurrency|
|Jackson||Braselton||140.059||225.403||I-85 (SR 403) – Atlanta|
|140.617||226.301||SR 124 east (Lewis Braselton Boulevard)||Western end of SR 124 concurrency|
|140.642||226.341||SR 124 west (Broadway Avenue)||Eastern end of SR 124 concurrency|
|Hoschton||141.615||227.907||SR 332 north (Pendergrass Road) – Pendergrass||Southern terminus of SR 332|
|Barrow||Winder||149.051||239.874||SR 11 east / SR 211 east (Jefferson Highway) – Jefferson, Statham||Western end of SR 11 and SR 211 concurrencies|
|149.966||241.347||SR 82 east (Broad Street)||Western terminus of SR 82|
|150.530||242.255||SR 211 west (W Athens Street)||Eastern end of SR 211 concurrency|
|150.701||242.530||US 29 Bus. west / SR 8 west / SR 81 south (Atlanta Highway) – Auburn, Loganville||Western end of US 29 Bus./SR 8 concurrency|
|151.563||243.917||SR 11 south (Monroe Highway) – Monroe||Eastern end of SR 211 concurrency|
|||155.341||249.997||US 29 / US 29 Bus. / SR 8 east / SR 316 – Lawrenceville, Athens||Eastern end of US 29 Bus./SR 8 concurrency; future interchange|
|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||US 129 Bus. / US 441 Bus. / SR 15 / SR 24 Bus. (North Main Street)||Eastern terminus|
|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 (SR 53 Spur) is a 2.930-mile-long (4.715 km) spur route of SR 53 that is partially within the city limits of Calhoun. It continues north and northeast into downtown Calhoun as the mainline of SR 53 makes a sharp turn to the east and southeast and bypasses most of Calhoun to its south. The spur terminates at an intersection with US 41/SR 3 (Main Street) in the heart of Calhoun. On the east side of this intersection is the Gordon County Courthouse.
|0.000||0.000||SR 53 west – Rome||No access from SR 53 Spur to SR 53 east; western terminus|
|2.719||4.376||SR 136 Conn. west (South River Street) – LaFayette||Western end of SR 136 Conn. concurrency|
|2.930||4.715||Main Street (US 41/SR 3)||Eastern end of SR 136 Conn. concurrency; eastern terminus of SR 53 Spur and SR 136 Conn.|
|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 (SR 53 Conn.) is a 1.790-mile-long (2.881 km) connector route of SR 53. It travels west-to-east in the western part of Gainesville. The highway is a connector 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/SR 365.
|SR 53 (Dawsonville Highway north / McEver Road south) – Oakwood, Dawsonville||Western terminus|
|SR 60 north / SR 369 (Jesse Jewell Parkway) – Oakwood, Cornelia||Western end of SR 60 concurrency|
|I-985 (US 23 / SR 365 / SR 419) – Atlanta, Cornelia||I-985 exit 20|
|SR 60 south (Candler Road) – Candler||Eastern end of SR 60 concurrency; eastern terminus|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "County GIS Base map shapefiles/geodatabases (varies by county)". Georgia Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- Geographic Transportation Reporting Analysis and Query System (GeoTRAQS) (Map). Georgia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- National Highway System: Rome, GA (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. May 9, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- National Highway System: Georgia (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. May 8, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- National Highway System: Atlanta, GA (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. May 9, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (1921). System of State Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (October 1926). System of State Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (October 1929). System of State Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (January 1932). System of State Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (August 1933). System of State Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (January 1, 1935). System of State Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (January 1, 1945). System of State Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. OCLC 5673161. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- State Highway Department of Georgia (1953). State Highway System and Other Principal Connecting Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. OCLC 5673161. Retrieved January 9, 2013. (Corrected to September 1, 1953.)
- State Highway Department of Georgia (1955). State Highway System and Other Principal Connecting Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. OCLC 5673161. Retrieved January 9, 2013. (Corrected to June 1, 1955.)
- State Highway Department of Georgia (1957). State Highway System and Other Principal Connecting Roads (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. OCLC 5673161. Retrieved January 9, 2013. (Corrected to July 1, 1957.)
- State Highway Department of Georgia (1960). State Highway System and Other Principal Connecting Roads (PDF) (Map) (1960–1961 ed.). Scale not given. Atlanta: State Highway Department of Georgia. OCLC 5673161. Retrieved January 14, 2013. (Corrected to June 1, 1960.)
- Georgia Department of Transportation (1986). Official Highway and Transportation Map (PDF) (Map) (1986–1987 ed.). Scale not given. Atlanta: Georgia Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- Georgia Department of Transportation (2007). Official Highway and Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: Georgia Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- "GDOT to build osprey homes as part of bridge project". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- "DOT plans to build new home for osprey as part of Boling Bridge project". Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- "GDOT GA-53 Widening (Phase II)". GDOT. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
- "GDOT GA-53 Widening (Phase III)". GDOT. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
- "GDOT Mars Hill Road Widening (Phase I)". GDOT. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
- "Eleven Georgia counties make Census list of nation's fastest growing counties". SaportaReport. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- "State Route 316 Corridor Study" (PDF). GDOT. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- Georgia Department of Transportation (1982). Official Highway and Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Atlanta: Georgia Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- National Highway System: Gainesville, GA (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. May 9, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.