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Eyes on the Road: Ga. DOT was ready for worst in winter scare

POSTED: November 4, 2012 11:55 p.m.

Even though winter was almost eight weeks away, the Georgia Department of Transportation found itself having to go into icy mode last week.

Hurricane Sandy, which battered the Northeast, delivered bone-chilling temperatures to North Georgia as it skirted the Southeastern coast. It also posed the threat of pre-Halloween snowfall and black ice to mountain communities.

“We monitored conditions and were prepared, but we are thankful not much happened here,” said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the DOT’s District 1, which covers the mountain counties and is based in Hall County.

No roads were closed and no signals went out, she said.

“We had a few trees blown down, but recent vegetation management along interstates and state routes kept (the number to a minimum) across the entire district,” Pope said.

The good news is crews were prepared had there been worse weather.

“We were ready as forecasts predicted snow flurries, but with weather so warm recently and the high winds, no accumulation was expected,” Pope said, adding “We have snow and ice battle materials ready.”

Hall resurfacing projects out for DOT bids Nov. 16

Bids are due Nov. 16 on a couple of DOT resurfacing projects in Hall.

The department is looking to resurface Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway from Boling Bridge to the Forsyth County line, a distance of 1.46 miles. The project doesn’t include the bridge, just the road.

Also in the works in a project for Ga. 369/Jesse Jewell Road between Limestone Parkway and Old Hamilton Place past Interstate 985.

Bids will be opened Nov. 16, “then reviewed and awarded, deferred or rejected and rebid by mid-December,” Pope said. “If awarded to a contractor, work will begin next spring.”

Both projects call for replacing damaged asphalt, new striping and rebuilding roadway shoulders, Pope said.

Firm to speak to MPO about traffic study for Gainesville

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy committee is set to hold its first meeting Wednesday in the new Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The meeting is set for 10 a.m. in the commission meeting room on the second floor.

The agenda is fairly light, except for an update on the planned Gainesville transportation study. Last month, the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted to contract with Norcross-based engineering firm Pond & Co. to conduct the study, which is set to be completed next year.

Richard Fangmann, director of transportation planning for the firm, is slated to speak.

The MPO is the county’s main transportation planning agency and the policy committee is its decision-making body.

DOT maintenance work ongoing during this week in Hall County

The DOT is taking advantage of cooler weather this week for routine maintenance activities.

In Hall, workers will be mowing on Ga. 52, making shoulder repairs on Ga. 11 and Ga. 60 and putting down thermoplastic striping on Ga. 53 and on Atlanta Highway at Poplar Springs Road. Expect lane closures as crews restripe an area.

Thermoplastic is a heat-applied road-marking compound that creates highly reflective and durable stripings.

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



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