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Eyes on the Road: Lights finally coming to parkway in Oakwood

POSTED: March 18, 2013 1:00 a.m.

About 1½ years after its completion, Thurmon Tanner Parkway in Oakwood will finally get streetlights.

Weather permitting, installation work should begin this week.

The Georgia Department of Transportation “has told us we can start taking use of the right of way,” Oakwood City

Manager Stan Brown said last week. “We’ve submitted that as one of our roads, as far as being locally under our control.”

Oakwood has $100,000 in tax allocation district money for landscaping and lighting.

A TAD is a funding mechanism that allows governments to collects property taxes for use in the redevelopment of blighted areas.

City officials will assess landscaping after lighting is done.

“We may wait until we get in the fall, in the planting time of the year,” Brown said.

“It may be that instead of doing the whole corridor, we work on some of the key intersections.”

Thurmon Tannner Parkway is a four-lane road that runs between Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway near Oakwood to Phil Neikro Boulevard in Flowery Branch.

Officials have long envisioned the road, which runs parallel to Interstate 985, as Hall County’s version of Gwinnett’s bustling Satellite Boulevard.

The road has developed some, but there are still large tracts of land along the corridor.

The last link, which runs between Plainview Road and Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood, was finished during
October 2011.

DOT official avoids name change controversy

DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith intentionally stayed away from a heated county issue during his remarks at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s annual transportation forum last week.

Smith spent several minutes talking about Hall County’s biggest road project, the Ga. 347 widening planned or ongoing between Lake Lanier Islands resort and Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway.

“You notice I’m calling this 347,” he said. “I’m not going to go anywhere else on this.”

The remark drew laughter from the large gathering, which included a large number of governement and business leaders.

But there was a different reaction Feb. 28, when the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted to rename Friendship Road as Lanier Islands Parkway.

More than 1,400 people had signed petitions opposing the county’s move.

The name change takes effect in 2015, or when construction is complete on the six- and four-lane road through the area.

The DOT is widening Ga. 347 in two phases — between McEver Road and I-985 and between I-985 and Ga. 211. Friendship Road runs along Ga. 347 between I-985 and Spout Springs Road.

New construction is involved in extending Ga. 347 from Spout Springs to Ga. 211. Currently, Ga. 347 continues along Spout Springs and Thompson Mill Road before reaching Ga. 211.

Braselton also has jumped on the issue. Its Town Council passed a resolution last week recognizing Friendship Road as the name for Ga. 347 in its town limits.

The DOT also is planning to add a center turn lane to Ga. 347 between McEver Road and Lake Lanier Islands, as well as a traffic circle, or roundabout, at New Bethany and Big Creek roads.

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



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