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Elected leaders want more discussion before OKing road project priorities
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Top 10 projects

Here’s the latest draft list of top road projects proposed in Gainesville-Hall County’s 2040 transportation plan:

1. Widening Ga. 60/Thompson Bridge Road from Ga. 136 to Yellow Creek Road
2. Widening Spout Springs Road from Hog Mountain Road to the Gwinnett County line
3. Improvements at Jesse Jewell and John Morrow parkways
4. Improvements at E.E. Butler Parkway, Athens Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
5. Widening U.S. 129/Athens Highway from Gillsville Highway to the Pendergrass Bypass
6. Widening Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway from Ga. 53/Winder Highway to Ga. 347
7. Widening Martin Road from Falcon Parkway to Winder Highway
8. Realignment of Lights Ferry Road with roundabout at Lights Ferry and Gainesville Street
9. New Exit 14 on Interstate 985
10. New bridge on Ga. 11 at East Fork Little River

A group of top elected leaders balked this morning at approving a draft list of prioritized road projects through 2040, saying they needed first to discuss each project individually in a work session.

Mayor Danny Dunagan said he believed some projects now listed should be shuffled based on need. He cited the widening of Ga. 60/Thompson Bridge Road through Murrayville in particular. That project has been ranked as the No. 1 priority.

“I’m no traffic engineer, but common sense tells me (that project) is a waste of money at this time,” he said. “It’s not busy, it’s not crowded. There are other roads in this county that need addressing (sooner).”

Dunagan and the rest of the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s decision-making policy committee voted to put off approval until after the work session, which was tentatively set for 11 a.m. Nov. 19.

The project list, as well as a “tiered” list showing projects divided into time frames between 2015 and 2040, must be included as part of the MPO’s federally required long-range transportation plan.

The MPO, which serves as the Hall area’s lead transportation planning agency, must complete the plan by August.

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