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Eyes on the Road: Ga. 347 stretch won’t open on April 14

POSTED: April 1, 2014 11:27 p.m.

A partially opened stretch of Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway in South Hall County won’t fully open April 14, as hoped.

The road builder, E.R. Snell Contractor of Snellville, has applied for a time extension based on weather-related issues, said Teri Pope, Georgia Department of Transportation district spokeswoman.

A new completion date hasn’t been set.

“We are negotiating those details now,” Pope said.

Last month, the DOT opened Ga. 347 with one lane in each direction between Spout Springs Road and Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway, running past the Northeast Georgia Health System’s 110-acre River Place campus.

Previously, motorists traveled Ga. 347/Thompson Mill Road between Spout Springs and Ga. 211.

The new segment is part of the larger $38.4 million, 8-mile widening of Ga. 347 between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211.

The overall project is slated for completion by Jan. 10, 2016 — six months longer than originally planned, also because of weather.

River Place will serve as the home of the $187.4 million Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, which is now being built and is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

In a separate project, Ga. 347 between McEver Road and I-985 is under construction, with work there set to finish by Nov. 30.

New passing lane should provide ‘quick’ relief

As part of the DOT’s “quick response” program, a passing lane is now open on Ga. 11 southbound at Hulsey Road in Cleveland.

“There was wide pavement in this area and drivers were using it as an unofficial passing lane,” said DOT Board member Emily Dunn, who represents Northeast Georgia.

Also, traffic would back up behind drivers waiting on Ga. 11 south to turn left onto Hulsey Road,
Now, through traffic can use the new 300-foot passing lane.

“This addition will greatly improve traffic flow until phase two of the Cleveland Bypass is open for use,” Dunn said.

The bypass’s first phase is a $16.8 million White County project, now under construction. The end result will be a four-lane divided highway around the western side of Cleveland, beginning on U.S. 129/Ga. 11/South Main Street at Hope Drive, south of Cleveland, to Ga. 115 near downtown Cleveland.

The project is on track for a Dec. 31 completion.

The DOT is planning to eventually extend the bypass another 2.8 miles, or from Ga. 115 to Ga. 75/Helen Highway.

Future work could include widening Hulsey Road to five lanes and three sets of parallel bridges between Ga. 115 and Ga. 11/North Main Street.

Those projects could cost a total of $28 million.

Work beginning on Hall’s long-range roads plan

Work to update Hall County’s long-range transportation plan got underway March 24 in a meeting between Norcross consulting firm Pond & Co. and Hall County’s lead transportation planning agency, the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Pond & Co., which also helped develop Gainesville’s transportation projects list and a Hall County bicycle/pedestrian plan update in the past year, was recently hired to work on the update of the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

The update of the long-range document, known formally as the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, is required because of Hall’s inclusion in an air-quality nonattainment zone.

Shift in traffic expected on Forsyth County road

The DOT is planning a traffic shift overnight Thursday on a $5 million improvement project involving Ga. 141/Bethelview Road at Ga. 9 in Forsyth County.

The move will affect Ga. 141 between Ga. 400 southbound ramps and a Waffle House restaurant.
If weather cooperates, traffic changes will begin Thursday night and be completed by 6 a.m. Friday. The shift will progress in sections overnight.

Lane closures will be required, and motorists can expect traffic delays in the area.

Message signs are in place now to alert motorists of the changes, District Construction Engineer Harold Mull said.

The project calls for rebuilding Ga. 141 at Ga. 9, creating two through lanes, two left-turn lanes and a right-turn lane for each leg of the intersection. Also involved is an upgrade of the traffic signal equipment and new sidewalks.

The project completion date is April 30.

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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