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Eyes on the Road: Ramsey Road work may start in September

POSTED: August 6, 2014 1:28 a.m.

Work could start Sept. 1 on a new traffic light and other improvements at Ramsey Road and Ga. 365 in northeast Hall County.

The new signal would be the second in a 1-mile stretch along a busy section of Ga. 365, just north of where Interstate 985 ends.

The other is at Howard Road, where wrecks have been a longtime concern, including one in July 2013 that killed three people and injured six.

The Ramsey work also calls for a new acceleration lane from Ramsey going south on Ga. 365.

Hall has awarded the $703,619 project to E.R. Snell Contractor of Snellville.

The project has a “substantial” completion date of Dec. 31, meaning the roadwork should be finished and the signal operational by then, Hall civil engineer Jody Woodall said.

Final completion is Jan. 31.

Workers to proceed on bridge part of Ga. 347 project

The nesting season for the barn swallow is over, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation, and that’s good news for a contractor trying to finish widening Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway between McEver Road and Interstate 985.

The barn swallow is a protected bird that could have a habitat under a bridge along the stretch, just east of McEver.

The bird’s possible presence meant workers had to hold off completing a bridge barrier and side walls, DOT district spokeswoman Teri Pope has said.

The delay was expected and doesn’t affect the overall completion date, still set for Nov. 30, she said.

Road planning group to mull cost increases to projects

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s decision-making Policy Committee is set to hold its next meeting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Clermont Chattahoochee Center, 639 Main St.

Among the agenda items is a proposed update to the MPO’s 2012-2017 Transportation Improvement Program. The MPO serves as Hall’s lead transportation planning agency.

The DOT is now projecting right-of-way acquisition costs to jump to more than $1 million from nearly $800,000 in replacing the Ga. 369/Browns Bridge Road bridge over the Chattahoochee River.

And construction of the Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway bridge over the Chestatee River is now at $12.9 million, compared to an earlier estimate of $10.4 million.

Higher costs in both projects show the DOT is moving closer to the respective phase of work in each project.

“As part of development of the (Ga. 369) project, right-of-way costs are updated as a project nears that phase of work,” Pope said.

And changes to the Ga. 53 project are “due to having better defined plans to estimate the construction cost,” she said. “We also have a better idea of market prices closer to letting.”

The heavily traveled bridges date to the 1950s, when Lake Lanier was built, and have been identified as needing replacement.

Right-of-way acquisition on Browns Bridge is scheduled this fiscal year, which began July 1 and ends next June 30.

Construction, which is estimated at $13.2 million, is projected to take place in fiscal 2017-18.

Right-of-way acquisition and construction is scheduled this fiscal year on the Ga. 53 bridge.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:

jgill@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/jeffagill

@JeffGTimes



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