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Eyes on the Road: Gainesville roads plan now available online

POSTED: November 25, 2013 12:15 a.m.

Area residents now can view the final version of Gainesville’s Transportation Master Plan, completed after a yearlong study.

Officials have posted the report at the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s website. Click on “City of Gainesville TMP.”

The report features an executive summary, which gives an overview of recommended roadway and bicycle/pedestrian projects in three time frames (2013-20, 2021-30 and 2031-40), and provides maps of the projects.

The majority of projects in 2013-20 are less expensive, focusing primarily on intersection improvements, including the addition of turn lanes and changes to traffic signal operations.

A number of the 2021-30 projects focus on additional roadway capacity or new roadways in key areas with congestion.

“Some of these projects will require more detailed planning and approval from outside agencies before they can move forward,” the report states.

Projects in 2031-40 “are planned for a longer time frame because they have significant impacts, need review and approval from outside agencies and/or are expensive,” according to the report. “Some projects are intended to address future transportation needs in areas where traffic congestion may not currently be a significant problem.”

The city’s plan will next be considered for inclusion in the MPO’s planned study of area transportation projects.

The MPO’s 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan is slated for an update, a process set to begin in January and to be completed by August 2015, said Sam I. Baker, MPO’s senior transportation planner.

DOT suspends lane closures for Thanksgiving

To make Thanksgiving travel easier, the Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending construction-related lane closures on interstates and major state routes from noon Wednesday to 9 p.m. Sunday.

However, “crews may still be working and heavy equipment may remain staged in close proximity to highways, and safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures remain in place,” according to a DOT news release.

“Also, incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.”

DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith urged safe traveling through the week, noting that historically, about 3,000 accidents occur on Georgia roads during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Meeting on detour set for Dec. 5 in Banks County

The DOT has scheduled a public information open house meeting to discuss a proposed detour while the Ga. 59 bridge over the Grove River, about 6« miles southeast of Homer, is being rebuilt.

The meeting is set for 4-6 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Banks County Courthouse Annex, 150 Hudson St., Homer.

DOT engineers will be available to discuss the proposed project and detour details. There will be no formal presentation.

The existing bridge, which is 280 feet long, 26 feet wide and does not have shoulders, was built in 1938 and does not meet current design standards.

The new bridge will be the same length but will be 40 feet wide, featuring 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders.

The detour will allow construction to move much faster and cost much less — the savings is $877,028 — than if traffic continued to use the bridge while a parallel structure was built, DOT officials said.

The proposed 11.2-mile detour calls for traffic to be routed from Ga. 59 to Ga. 15/U.S. 441, then to Interstate 85, Ga. 63 and finally Ga. 59.

After the meeting, displays of the project will be at the DOT district office at 2505 Athens Highway, Gainesville.

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



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