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Dawsonville Highway lane fix allows for through traffic and turns
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The eastbound outside lane on Dawsonville Highway has recently been converted into a through/turn lane to improve traffic flow in that area. - photo by Jeff Gill

Some relief has come to frequently clogged Dawsonville Highway/Ga. 53 in Gainesville.

An eastbound lane that had limited traffic flow to right turns has been converted to a through and right-turn lane.

The conversion involved scrubbing gores, or triangular, striped areas delineating where traffic should go, from the outside lane starting in front of Olive Garden and ending at a Ga. 53 entrance into the Kohl’s-anchored shopping center.

The revamped lane also crosses Beechwood Boulevard, a residential street where motorists can turn east or left on Ga. 53.

Overall, the lane improvement is between Ahaluna Drive and McEver Road, a fast-growing area where traffic bunches up quickly. State and local officials are looking at several solutions to fix traffic woes there and continuing on to Shallowford Road, including a study that’s looking at possible connector roads.

The removal of gores is a relatively minor project, with Georgia Department of Transportation maintenance crews doing the work, said Chris Rotalsky, Gainesville’s public works director.

Nonetheless, “all of the feedback we have been receiving has been positive,” he said. “It appears we are seeing good results from this traffic lane use change.”

The eastbound stretch is the only section that has been improved, “as this was the section that could be transitioned into a through lane the quickest,” Rotalsky said.

However, DOT “is evaluating transitioning some of the other sections along the corridor as well,” he said. “These additional sections may require more extensive construction and/or right of way issues.”

The traffic study “will provide recommendations for intersection improvements and/or potential street connections for alternate routes and provide a prioritization of projects for implementation of improvement,” according to an online survey that ended Friday, April 6.

“We want the public to understand what we’re trying to do, understand the challenges involved in the corridor and certainly define what is important to (them),” Rotalsky said.

The study is being conducted on possible traffic solutions by Gainesville and the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Hall County area’s lead transportation
planning agency.

Rotalsky said officials got a “great response” to the survey, netting 644 total responses.

Public input was just one part of the study, which will take about a year to complete, he said.

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Motorists travel eastbound along Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville Tuesday, April 10, 2018, between Ahaluna Drive and McEver Road. The eastbound outside lane has recently been converted into a thru/turn lane to improve traffic flow in that area.
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