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I-985 Exit 14 project moving forward
Martin Road interchange to cost $34M
Martin Road
Construction of a controversial new interchange off Interstate 985 at Martin Road in South Hall is now set. - photo by Times file photo

Construction of a controversial new interchange off Interstate 985 at Martin Road in South Hall is now set.

A contract was awarded Aug. 4 to G.P.’s Enterprises of Auburn for the $34 million project, Georgia Department of Transportation district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said Monday.

Completion of the diamond interchange is set for August 2019.

A start date for the project isn’t known yet.

The interchange, commonly referred to as Exit 14, will connect Martin Road at Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 on the east side of I-985 to H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway at Thurmon Tanner Parkway on the west side.

The project drew huge opposition from Martin Road residents, many of whom placed “Stop Exit 14” signs in the yards.

Eventually, residents became part of a formal “stakeholders” group included as part of a countywide freight study, as the focus shifted more to how to deal with traffic coming off the exit.

One of the residents’ major concerns has been truck traffic traveling along Martin Road, which runs between Ga. 13 and Winder Highway/Ga. 53. 

Residents also were opposed to the widening of Martin Road — a project that was eventually removed from Hall County’s transportation plans.

Last week, the Hall County Board of Commissioners approved a $30,000 study by Wilburn Engineering of ways to slow traffic along the road, including stop signs or speed tables.

A long-term plan could involve a roundabout at the intersection of Martin Road and JM Turk Road.

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