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Flowery Branch closer to adding traffic light at crossroads

Study: Thurmond Tanner/Phil Niekro intersection is busy

POSTED: January 21, 2009 12:19 p.m.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Flowery Branch appears closer to getting a traffic light installed at the busy intersection of Thurmon Tanner Parkway and Phil Niekro Boulevard.

A preliminary traffic study justifies the need for a light, City Manager Bill Andrew told City Council on Wednesday.

The next step is a meeting to get the Georgia Department of Transportation’s OK on the project. Then, the city will begin design work.

"We’re paying for the study and it’s my understanding the county will be paying for the light," Andrew said.

Traffic tends to back up on Thurmon Tanner, with motorists wanting to turn left on Phil Niekro at rush hour and other busy times.

In an earlier report to City Council, Andrew said that the city had received several complaints about the intersection. He also said that, as the final phase of the four-lane Thurmon Tanner is finished in Oakwood, "the increase in traffic flow will eventually be substantial."

DOT is involved in the project because the light will be linked up to those already at the exit ramp,
according to DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope. This will link the timing of the five lights along the entire corridor between Spout Springs and Thurmon Tanner.

"That will help the whole corridor to move more smoothly and flow better," Pope said.

Thurmon Tanner is expected to spur commercial and industrial development — some office buildings already have sprouted along the road — and serve as an alternative route to Interstate 985. The highways run parallel, as do I-85 and Satellite Boulevard in Gwinnett County.

In other business, city Planning Director James Riker updated the council on two road projects.

The city is looking to correct traffic woes on the narrow two-lane Jones Drive, which ties into the vast Tide Water Cove subdivision.

Jones runs between Gainesville Street, which also is 12 feet wide but is one way, and the two-lane Mitchell Street. Lorimar Court, which features several duplexes, juts off Jones Drive.

"Jones (Drive) has been staked. We are expecting a sketch of the right of way sometime (Wednesday)," Riker said. "Once we get that sketch, we’ll be able to formulate a proposal for the council to consider."

The city hopes to get a cost estimate soon on a temporary fix for the road. A more involved project, including engineering and construction, could cost $175,000, Riker said.

Plans are 90 percent complete for a project that involves improvements to Spout Springs Road at Holland Dam Road near I-985.

"We expect to send that out to bid within the next 60 days," Riker said.

The work would involve widening Holland Dam Road at Spout Springs to allow for easier turns and extending a sidewalk now running on Holland Dam between Falcon Fitness and Publix grocery store to Spout Springs Road.

The project also involves making sidewalk and curb changes on Spout Springs to give more space to motorists who make a U-turn on Spout Springs at the traffic light at the Publix-anchored and Stonebridge Village shopping centers.



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