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County considers closing part of South Hall road
Beards Road connects New Bethany to Lanier Islands Parkway
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Hall County is considering whether to close part of a dirt and gravel road that links two major South Hall roads in response to resident concerns about dumping in the area.

Public hearings are set for Sept. 11 and Sept. 25 before the Hall County Board of Commissioners on whether to close a 1,200-foot section of Beards Road, which connects New Bethany Road to Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway.

“If it’s in the public interest (to close the road) and we can get the right of way, then we probably would install a cul-de-sac,” said Jody Woodall, a Hall County civil engineer who manages county road projects.

If that project moves forward, motorists would only have access to Beards from Ga. 347.

Otherwise, “we would pave the entire road as planned,” Woodall said.

Beards Road is one of eight gravel roads that Hall County plans to pave this year, as part of an effort to put a small chink in ongoing efforts to reduce the some 60 miles of unpaved county-maintained roads it has on the books.

The overall completion date for the paving is Dec. 31.

The county’s 2014 Grade, Base and Pave Program is underway now, “so we’re putting Beards Road last on our (list) to give it a little time to go through this process,” Woodall said.

The project was stalled in the first place because “one of the property owners was not in favor of paving (Beards) and wanted to explore the possibility of installing the cul-de-sac and abandoning the short stretch (of road),” he said.

Commissioner Craig Lutz said he spoke to a resident in the area who was concerned about trash being dumped in the area, along with some other issues.

“I told him to get his neighbors to sign off on it and bring it to the commission,” Lutz said.

Neither he nor Woodall had the names of the concerned residents.

New Bethany and Ga. 347 are a couple of key roads leading to Lake Lanier, with New Bethany crossing Ga. 347 at Big Creek Road. Ga. 347 runs to Lake Lanier Islands resort and Big Creek dead-ends at Lake Lanier.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is planning an improvement project along Ga. 347 between McEver Road and the resort, with a traffic roundabout at New Bethany and Big Creek roads.