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Eyes on the Road: DOT schedules meeting on Ga. 347 project

POSTED: September 8, 2013 11:04 p.m.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has scheduled a public information meeting for Oct. 10 on the planned final phase of construction on Ga. 347 in South Hall County.

The project calls for a center turn lane, a multiuse trail on one side and sidewalk on the road between McEver Road and Lake Lanier Islands resort.

The meeting is set to take place 5-7 p.m. at Lanier Islands Community Church, 6302 Lanier Islands Parkway, off New Bethany and Big Creek roads.

One of the key features of that 2.4-mile segment is a traffic circle near the church. The proposed route would go behind the church’s cemetery, which sits across Ga. 347 from the church, bringing side streets into Ga. 347, DOT district spokeswoman Teri Pope has said.

National Environmental Policy Act rules don’t allow for the road project to affect the cemetery.

Still, “shifting the road behind the cemetery will also help straighten out curves in the roadway, improving safety,” Pope said.

The traffic circle has garnered some interest — and concerns.

“My biggest concern is how wide it’s actually going to be, because we’re going to have to be able to maneuver big houseboats around that thing,” said Alex Laidlaw, vice president of operations for Westrec, which manages Holiday Marina near the resort’s entrance.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners has voted officially to support the roundabout.

A Feb. 28 letter from Chairman Richard Mecum to the DOT states the county agrees to pay the energy costs for any lighting that’s installed and to maintain landscaping at the roundabout “in the event (it) is selected as the preferred concept alternative.”

Right-of-way acquisition was slated to start in fiscal 2013-14, involving 62 parcels, at an estimated cost of $2.6 million. Construction is set to begin in fiscal 2014-15, costing about $10.8 million.

Resurfacing project set to begin today on Cleveland Highway

A $2.07 million resurfacing of U.S. 129/Ga. 11/Cleveland Highway from Hall County to north of downtown Cleveland is set to begin today, weather permitting.

Crews are slated to work 7 p.m.-6 a.m. No daytime closures on the busy roadway are allowed as part of the DOT’s contract with Colditz Trucking of Blairsville.

The first phase of work calls for removing damaged asphalt and rebuilding those sections from the roadway base up. The second phase entails resurfacing and finally putting on the driving surface.

A pilot vehicle will be used to direct traffic through the work zone. Delays are expected as work occurs.

The U.S. 129/Ga. 11 section was last resurfaced in 1998.

The project completion date is March 31.

The section of road being built as part of the new Cleveland Bypass is not included in the resurfacing work, District Engineer Bayne Smith said.

Historic culverts will be replaced in roads project set to begin this fall

The Gainesville-based Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests received federal transportation money this year to do some much needed work in Fannin County on Tumbling Creek Road, said Judy Toppins, National Forests spokeswoman.

Because of frequent washouts, the road needs to be re-engineered for better drainage, she said.

Two culverts built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps along the road are failing as well as blocking upstream access for important fish species. The culverts will be replaced by bottomless culverts that allow for fish passage.

The work should begin this fall and will take a few months to complete, Toppins said.

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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