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Hall set to pave 8 gravel roads

POSTED: June 12, 2014 12:46 a.m.

Hall County is hoping to pave eight gravel roads later this year, putting a small chink in ongoing efforts to reduce the some 60 miles of unpaved county-maintained roads it has on the books.

The county is seeking bids by June 24 on its 2014 Grade, Base and Pave Program, with a contract possibly awarded by mid-July.

Most of the roads targeted this year were already in the county’s road system, but in a couple of cases, residents petitioned the county to accept the roads.

Typically, residents agree to give the county some right of way in exchange for the county paving the road to standards — 20 feet of asphalt, 4 or 5 feet of shoulders and drainage ditches — and “getting everybody’s driveway tied back in (to the road),” said Jody Woodall, civil engineer with Hall.

“To be able to put that road in properly, we couldn’t do it in the right of way that’s there,” he said.

The roads being paved are Audubon Drive, Arrowhead Road, Beards Road, Hawthorne Place, Holly Hill Drive, Loco Vare Road, Ridgeway Circle and Smith Mill Road.

The total amount paved will be 2 miles. Most of the roads are short, with Ridgeway Circle the longest, at about a half-mile.

Work could get underway this summer, but the overall completion date is Dec. 31.

While Woodall said he expects residents along those roads will be happy the work is happening, “we’ll have some who aren’t happy because their road isn’t included (in the program) ... and they want to drive on a paved road.”

The county won’t put an unpaved road in the program until it has all the needed right of way.

The other option of “doing a small section here and small section there” isn’t preferred.

“Occasionally, we’ll have some houses on one side (of the road) that are in favor (of paving) and others ... that aren’t,” Woodall said.

“Where possible, we may offset the right of way where property owners will give additional right of way (and) their neighbor across the road doesn’t want to give anything.”

As far as which ones get paved first, it’s largely based on the old adage: Squeaky wheel gets the oil.

“We have citizens who call in about roads and there are ones (targeted) at the direction of the (Hall County Board of Commissioners),” Woodall said.

Eliminating unpaved roads countywide is ideal, but, at least at this point, not realistic.

“We have some roads that, unless the property changed hands, we don’t have much hope in getting the right of way dedicated,” Woodall said. “It’s just that we’ve dealt with the property owners over the years several times and the answer every time we go is no.

“And that’s fine. ... Some of them like the rural feel of living on a gravel road.”

Most people, however, “just get tired of living in the dust and want a paved road,” Woodall said.


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