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Eyes on the Road: Clarks Bridge detour coming to end
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Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road appears on target to reopen to through traffic Saturday.

The contractor was setting the grade of Ga. 284 over a pedestrian tunnel near the bridge Tuesday afternoon, said Teri Pope, district spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Plans called for paving to take place today, she said.

Because of the tunnel’s construction, Ga. 284 has been closed since May 27 between U.S. 129/Cleveland Highway in
Clermont and U.S. 129/Limestone Parkway in Gainesville.

Bad weather over the past week had slowed progress on the tunnel, with crews “working diligently around the rain to reopen” the road, Pope said.

The tunnel “will not be open for use Saturday,” she added. “There is still a lot to do to make the tunnel ready for use. Two retaining walls must be built, then sidewalks poured to connect the tunnel to the parking areas and beach or building.

“Then, electricity has be to run to the area and the lighting installed.”

The tunnel is part of an overall $8.7 million project to replace the 56-year-old Clarks Bridge, which doesn’t meet current design standards.

The project is set to be completed by Dec. 31, 2015.

Earlier this month, workers began setting beams for the bridge. Each beam is about 136 feet long, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 70 tons.

Until the road reopens, motorists can follow the DOT’s detour, which involves only state-maintained routes: Clarks Bridge Road, Cleveland Highway, U.S. 129/Limestone Parkway and Ga. 52/Brookton-Lula Road.

There are several local connections between Clarks Bridge Road and Cleveland Highway, including Lakeland and Honeysuckle roads.

Public meeting set Aug. 7 on long-range roads plan

A second community meeting has been scheduled on the development of a long-range transportation plan for the Hall County area.

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, the area’s leading transportation planning agency, has set the meeting for 5:30-7 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road.

The meeting will take place in the Hall Board of Commissioners meeting room on the second floor.

A presentation is set for 6 p.m.

Because Hall is part of an air quality nonattainment area, it must update its long-term plan every four years. The current document, the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, was released in August 2011. The update must be completed by August 2015.

In addition to revenue concerns, officials also have more territory to cover in the plan update.

As a result of 2010 census numbers, the MPO’s boundaries have grown to include a part of West Jackson County, particularly the Braselton area, which includes a stretch of Interstate 85.

Also, the MPO will need to consider an updated bicycle and pedestrian plan and a long-term Gainesville transportation plan.


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


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