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Another major South Hall road project is taking shape
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Acquisition is going on to make way for the widening of Friendship Road including this section near Hog Mountain Road. - photo by Tom Reed

Friendship Road and Lanier Islands Parkway are Hall County's next big home for orange barrels.

Construction money is tagged for widening projects in the state's fiscal 2012 budget, which begins July 1, for Ga. 347 running between McEver Road in Buford to Ga. 211/Old Winder road in Braselton.

The project has been divided into the Friendship and Lanier Islands Parkway phases.

Friendship Road will be widened between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211, running by Friendship Elementary School and a flurry of subdivisions. When that section crosses Spout Springs Road, or at Braselton, that area becomes heavily commercial.

The new four-lane will continue to run by more heavily residential areas, including the Village at Deaton Creek, before crossing in front of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center's planned South Hall hospital.

Jennifer Dees, Braselton city manager, said the project "should have a positive economic impact" on her city.

"Our area of South Hall is home to a number of commercial establishments and quality residential developments that will then have easy access not only to I-85 but also to I-985," she said.

The project also will help "ensure safe and effective traffic flow to medical, resort and ... other amenities Braselton has to offer," she added.

Ga. 211 leads to Chateau Elan, a resort featuring a winery, hotel and golf course, which also sits off I-85.

The new Ga. 347 has been seen as providing easier access between two major Georgia attractions, Chateau Elan and Lake Lanier Islands.

The DOT also plans to widen Lanier Islands Parkway - known as Friendship Road until a name change earlier this year - from I-985 to McEver Road.

That stretch also features a congested commercial strip, particularly between I-985 and Atlanta Highway.

The estimated construction cost for the Friendship portion of the project is $48.8 million. The Lanier Island Parkway work is expected to cost $18.9 million.

"Of course, all of that is right-of-way dependent. We must first own the land before we can let it for (construction) bids," said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation's Gainesville-based District 1.

The DOT has acquired 148 of 250 parcels needed for Ga. 347 between I-985 and Ga. 211 and six of 49 parcels between I-985 and McEver Road.

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