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Eyes on the Road: Work starting on intersection project

POSTED: October 7, 2013 12:48 a.m.

Construction on a new left-turn lane from Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway onto Memorial Park Drive, a busy intersection near the Chicopee Mill Village community, could start in the next couple of weeks.

Preliminary work is underway on the $215,000 project, as motorists in the area may have noticed. The contractor is Simpson’s Trucking & Grading of Gainesville.

Hall County civil engineer Jody Woodall said last week the project should take 4-6 weeks to complete.

The intersection long has been a busy, tricky spot. Motorists heading north into Gainesville on Ga. 13 often have used the right shoulder to get around cars backing up to turn left — although they can’t now because of construction barriers. Even though buildings surround the intersection, no additional right of way was required for the project.

“We’re going to squeeze (the new lane) in,” Woodall said. “We’re working on a little bit of permanent easement for a utility pole relocation — that’s the only thing we’re having to acquire out there.”

He didn’t know the number of cars turning left, “but, being in this area for a while, we know there’s a high volume of left (turns),” he said.

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to upgrade the traffic signal at the intersection as part of a project set for the contract to be awarded in the summer.

“We will upgrade the signal equipment, make the intersection Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and evaluate the need for a left-turn (arrow),” said Teri Pope, the DOT’s district spokeswoman. “It is hard to count the volume for the (left turn) without a left-turn lane being there.

“The current project will allow for that count to be as accurate as possible.”

The project will cost about $215,000, with $200,000 from the state’s Quick Response operational improvement program and the balance from Hall’s special purpose local option sales taxes.

The traffic light project is part of nine intersection upgrades costing $2.2 million, Pope said.

Government Center access road now open

A new road giving visitors another way to access the Hall County Government Center is now open.

A&T Enterprises of Lula just finished the $132,436 project, which connects the government building’s parking lot to Free Chapel at 3001 McEver Road.

Before, visitors could only get to and leave the center from its address on 2875 Browns Bridge Road. The sole entrance/exit on the 33-acre site was on the busy four-lane road.

The new 925-foot access road enables visitors to enter from a traffic light on McEver. As part of an agreement with the county, the church can use the county parking lot for overflow parking.

The project had been in the works since the county opened the government center last October.

DOT schedules information meeting on Ga. 347 segment

The DOT has scheduled a public information meeting for Thursday on the planned final phase of construction on Ga. 347 in South Hall County.

The project calls for a center turn lane, right turn lanes as needed, a 10-foot multiuse trail on one side and 5-foot sidewalk 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, Pope has 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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