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Eyes on the road: Gainesville hopes to restart its tree project
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 Gainesville hopes to restart efforts to plant 180 trees at three Army Corps of Engineers parks as part of an “environmental stewardship” plan tied to the Clarks Bridge replacement project.

The Gainesville Public Utilities Department is accepting proposals through Sept. 11 for the work, which would consist of “furnishing all products and all labor necessary” to plant the trees, according to a legal notice published Sunday.

The city is planting the trees in exchange for receiving a corps permit to clear trees as part of utilities relocation in the bridge work on Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road at Lake Lanier.

“One of the requirements in the easement process is (the corps) determines environmental impacts,” Matt Tarver, Gainesville’s public utilities project manager, has said.

The corps basically seeks a way for the government requesting the permit to “give back” to the environment in a measure that’s equal to the impact, said Jeff Emmert, the corps chief ranger over natural resources and real estate.

Earlier this year, Gainesville had sought proposals for the effort but ended up with only one interested contractor.

“We were in a position where we were going to have to readvertise the project,” Tarver said.

Officials have said the work would take place at Old Federal Campground at 6219 Old Federal Road, Sardis Creek Day-Use Area at 2991 Antioch Church Road and Bolding Mill Campground at 4055 Chestatee Road, all in Hall County.

As for the types of trees, “we would want a variety of species native to this area,” Emmert has said.

They could include oaks, pines, maples and dogwoods.

The $8.7 million bridge project calls for a new bridge across the Chattahoochee River portion of Lanier and completion of a new pedestrian tunnel under Ga. 284.

The old bridge, which was built in 1958, will be torn down once the new one, along with approaches and tunnel, are in place.

The project is set for completion by Dec. 31, 2015.

New signal planned for Ga. 365 intersection in Baldwin to start today

A new traffic signal designed to improve safety and increase traffic flow, especially for left-turn movements, is planned for Ga. 365 at Ga. 384/Duncan Bridge Road in Baldwin.

The flashing yellow arrow will be for traffic on Ga. 365 north and south turning onto Ga. 384/Duncan Bridge.

The signals are set to become operational by 2 p.m. today, weather permitting.

Known formally as four-section flashing yellow arrow signals, they are being installed at intersections statewide that have historically heavy left-turn traffic volumes.

Basically, the signal’s solid red arrow means

drivers must stop, and solid green arrow means drivers can go freely. Flashing yellow means drivers can turn left but yield to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles; a solid yellow arrow means drivers should prepare to stop as the light is about to turn red.

Federal Highway Administration studies have shown the new signals help reduce crashes of left-turning vehicles by as much as 35 percent, the DOT stated in a news release.

“We believe this will help drivers wanting to make aleft turn better understand when they can do so freely, when they may proceed with their turn cautiously, and when they may not turn left,”  said Bayne Smith, the Georgia Department of Transportation’s district engineer.

“Our primary purpose is to reduce the often-devastating angle crashes that result when a left-turning vehicle is struck by oncoming traffic.”

Mowing, shoulder maintenance work planned on state routes throughout this week

DOT workers plan to be out in force on maintenance jobs along state routes this week.

Mowing is set for areas along Ga. 52, with shoulders closed as the work occurs.

Another crew will repair shoulders along Ga. 60, also closing the shoulder.

Crews plan to work from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 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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