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Eyes on the Road: Forum on roads set this week at UNG Gainesville

POSTED: March 11, 2013 12:28 a.m.

Area residents can get an update on road projects at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Transportation Forum this week.

The event is set for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus. The forum will take place in the Continuing Education Building’s auditorium.

Scheduled speakers include Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden, DOT District 1 Engineer Bayne Smith and Srikanth Yamala, director of the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Officials typically talk about current and future transportation plans for the Hall County area at the program.

Cost is $15 for chamber members and $20, guests. The charge includes lunch.

Residents likely are already familiar with a few projects, including the biggest and most obvious one — widening of Ga. 347, taking place in two phases, between McEver Road in West Hall to Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway at Braselton.

Also, work is expected to start this spring or summer on the construction of a new bridge on Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road at Lake Lanier.

The DOT expects to keep the old bridge open while it builds the new one, eventually closing the old bridge, then demolishing it.

A start date is still up in the air, said district spokeswoman Teri Pope.

“They are still putting together their paperwork,” she said.

A couple of other projects involve construction of a new interchange, or Exit 14, off Interstate 985 between Flowery Branch and Oakwood; and widening Spout Springs Road from Hog Mountain Road to Gwinnett County.

Both South Hall projects are in early stages, years away from construction.

Keeping old Clarks Bridge wasn’t in the cards for DOT

Speaking of Clarks Bridge, a reader recently suggested that “the present bridge should be kept for recreational use” and that “this was done in Florida.”

Pope said the “using the bridge for recreational use was not considered by GDOT, since we are focused on transportation, not recreation.

“The decision would be the (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) since they regulate all structures in Lake Lanier,” she added.

E. Patrick Robbins, spokesman for the corps’ Mobile District, said, “Apparently it has been done before at other projects, but as I understand it, local governments agreed to take responsibility for maintenance since our budgets don’t have that capability.

“There (has) not been any discussion with the project concerning Clarks Bridge.”

Work has restarted on fixing stretch of Bradford Street

The city of Gainesville has resumed work on a short segment of Bradford Street, where a sewer line project turned into sinkhole repair last month.

The job calls for replacing a terra cotta storm-water pipe system, which was found to be in disrepair, said Stan Aiken, the city’s senior civil engineer.

The work will consist of installing about 545 linear feet of reinforced concrete pipe and building five catch basins, Aiken said.

Work will take place daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A flagger will help direct traffic as needed.

Weather permitting, the work could take about one month to complete, Aiken said.

The faulty storm-water system was discovered in February, when workers were wrapping up a sewer project that involves abandoning a decades-old line that runs underneath a building.

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




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