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Eyes on the Road: Clarks Bridge work now set for late November
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Water work on the new Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road bridge at the Lake Lanier Olympic Center is now expected to begin before Thanksgiving.

“Working in the lake preparing to drill for the new concrete support structures, or caissons, is very specialized,” said Harold Mull, district construction engineer with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

“The crews doing that work cannot be in the area until later in November. These plans are tentative and are weather-dependent.”

More details will be released “as the work plan solidifies,” he added.

In the meantime, “crews are moving equipment and materials to the project area,” Mull said.

The $8.7 million construction project was awarded to E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. of Snellville.

The project calls for a bridge with 12-foot lanes and an 8-foot bike path in each direction, replacing the existing bridge, which was built in 1958 and does not meet current design standards. It also involves construction of a new pedestrian tunnel under Ga. 284.

The completion date for the work is Dec. 31, 2015.

Planning organization to discuss civil rights draft report Wednesday

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s decision-making policy committee, which comprises Hall’s top elected officials, is set to meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The group will consider, among other things, approval of a civil rights and “environmental justice” draft report, which shows areas with minority and poor populations aren’t being shut out of planned Hall County road projects.

“The overall conclusion is the number of projects is not inordinately disproportionate to either (targeted) areas or nontargeted areas when compared to the total population,” said Sam I. Baker, senior transportation planner, to the MPO’s technical coordinating committee in October.

“The document is an assessment of how we have been doing so far in incorporating and benefiting all (residents) and making sure that any adverse impacts are not disproportionately borne by only certain segments of the population,” he added.

Federal law requires that the transportation agency adopt the Title VI and Environmental Justice Analysis. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color and national origin.

“This law mandates that any entity, any agency that receives federal dollars, develop a plan and document how it will use those funds to benefit all the citizens,” Baker said.

The MPO, according to its website, is responsible for handling the federally mandated transportation planning process for the Gainesville urbanized area as identified in the U.S. census.

As part of the study, the MPO identified “target” or concentrated areas of higher-than-average minority populations, those living below the poverty level or without a vehicle in the household. And it compared those to a map showing projects in its 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

The study shows 58 percent of Hall lives in target areas and 25 of the 39 projects in the 2040 plan lie in target areas. Also, 71 percent of fixed-route Hall Area Transit routes are in target areas.

Baker said the MPO modeled its report after one performed by the Hinesville Area MPO.

A public comment period for Gainesville-Hall MPO’s document ended Thursday.

Maintenance work planned to begin on Ga. 53, 332 in South Hall

The DOT is planning maintenance work this week in South Hall.

A crew will seal cracks in the asphalt on Ga. 53/Winder Highway while other workers restripe faded pavement markings on Ga. 332/Poplar Springs Road. The work will require lane closures.

Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today through Friday, weather permitting.

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


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