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Eyes on the Road: DOT in midst of the upkeep season on the state's roads
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Motorists shouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of mowing, drainage work and other chores along the sides of state roads.

“This is the busy maintenance season for vegetation management since it is also growing season,” said Teri Pope, spokeswoman at the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Hall County office.

“Drainage work is also quite active because of the heavy rains this time of year,” she said. “We try to clean out and repair drains to prevent standing water on our roadways. Overall, routine maintenance is a year-round activity.”

Last week, for example, workers could be seen mowing on Ga. 52 and Ga. 284, making culvert repairs on Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway, trimming overgrown vegetation on Ga. 136 and fixing up the driving surface or deck on the U.S. 129/Ga. 11 bridge over Interstate 985 at Exit 22.

Sometimes, work will affect traffic.

“Motorists should reduce their speed in ... all work zones,” Pope said.

Howard Road improvement project is close to DOT review

The DOT expects to receive information this week from RaceTrac engineers related to planned improvements to Howard Road at Ga. 365.

“We will then review it and submit it (to officials in Atlanta) for review and approval,” Pope said last week.

The DOT is working with government officials and RaceTrac, a convenience store/gas station that sits at the crossing, on the project.

Public safety concerns about the intersection heightened after April 24, when a Clayton woman died in a crash there.

Pope said on April 27 that the state would meet with local officials to move forward on fixes, including a traffic signal and flashing yellow beacon lights warning motorists about the upcoming intersection.

Bids set for opening on work on Ga. 347/Friendship Road

DOT officials expect to open bids Friday on the widening of Ga. 347/Friendship Road from I-985 to Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway in South Hall.

The road project will involve construction of four to six lanes, with work starting in late summer or early fall.
The first segment that will be built will run in front of the Northeast

Georgia Health System’s planned 100-bed hospital, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, which is slated to open in the spring of 2015.

In May, the DOT awarded an $11.6 million contract for the widening of Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway between

McEver Road and I-985, a nearly 2-mile stretch that includes bridge reconstruction over a Norfolk Southern Railroad line.

The completion date on that project is Nov. 30, 2014.

Sales tax meeting is Tuesday at N. Hall High School

The third of four public meetings on the July 31 referendum on the 1 percent transportation sales tax is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at North Hall High School, 4885 Mount Vernon Road.

The event will feature a presentation by Srikanth Yamala, transportation planning manager for the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, and maps and other information concerning the regional projects that would be built if the tax passes.

The fourth public meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. June 25 at the Flowery Branch Depot at Main Street and Railroad Avenue.

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

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