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Eyes on the Road: Bridge work in East Hall wrapping up
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Work on a new bridge on Bryant Quarter Road near Gillsville could wrap up by the end of the month, weather permitting.

At one point, the project at the North Oconee River was estimated to be completed by Nov. 15.

“The contractor lost weeks due to the cold weather, as it impacts the placement and curing of concrete,” said Dana E. Sikes, Hall County project manager.

She said finishing the approach slab and roadway construction around the bridge hinges on the weather.

“The temperature has to be warm enough and it can’t be raining for this work to be completed,” she said. “Hopefully, the next couple of weeks will be warmer and dry.”

Bryant Quarter runs between Ga. 82/Holly Springs Road and Ga. 52 in downtown Gillsville.

The project will cost cost $423,360.22, financed by the Georgia Department of Transportation and Hall special purpose local option sales tax money.

The bridge wasn’t “in any danger of failing,” County Engineer Kevin McInturff said, “but it is to a point where (it) is way outdated.”

Another county project affected by weather is culvert work on Big Creek at McEver Road in West Hall.

The project involves “building new pipes inside the old pipes” and pumping in “really high-strength grout” in open spaces, McInturff has said.

Work had been expected to finish in late February, but now the tentative completion date is the end of April.

The road itself hasn’t been affected by the deterioration, McInturff has said.

The culverts lie under a strip of McEver that’s between Gaines Ferry Road in Flowery Branch and Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway in Buford. Big Creek runs from near Interstate 985 to McEver, where it empties into Lanier.

Planning group voting to include Jackson County

The decision-making group for an area transportation group is set to consider widening its coverage area to include part of Jackson County.

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue at its next meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

Current boundaries are confined to Hall County, but the 2010 census reflects that West Jackson, including Braselton, has urbanized to the point the area could either fall into the Atlanta Regional Commission or the Gainesville-Hall MPO.

Jackson County officials have chosen to go with the MPO.

“We’re ... so far out of metro (Atlanta) that I’m afraid we ... would be just a minor blip on their big agenda,” Public Development Department Director Gina Roy has said. “I don’t think we would get a full benefit.”

Roy said she believes Jackson “will bring some new light and new ideas” to the MPO, which is about to embark on an update of its 2040 Metropolitan Plan.

Much of Braselton is in Hall County, particularly in the Spout Springs Road area. Hall County is planning to widen Spout Springs to four lanes between Interstate 985 in Flowery Branch to Braselton in the Thompson Mill Road area.

Also, skirting or running through the Braselton-Hoschton area in Hall is the DOT’s widening of and new construction involving Ga. 347 between I-985 and Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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