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Eyes on the Road: Georgias freight corridor network includes I-985
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The State Transportation Board has voted to adopt the official Freight Corridor Network, which includes Interstate 985 through Hall County.

The official network is intended as “a cohesive and complete map of the state’s priority of roads for freight movements,” according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

“Increasing Georgia’s role as a global hub for freight and logistics requires us to prioritize limited resources toward the most critical roads and interchanges,” Gov. Nathan Deal said. “This designated freight corridor does just that.”

The full map of the designated state Freight Corridor Network can be found on the DOT’s website,

It highlights the key strategic highway routes that handle the flow of freight to and from locations in Georgia. House Bill 202, signed into law this past legislative session, allows for roads on the freight corridor network to be exempted from congressional balancing of transportation dollars spent on the routes.

Previously, state law required Georgia to equally distribute highway money among its 14 congressional districts.

The 2012 Georgia Statewide Freight and Logistics Plan outlined the most viable freight routes providing “the necessary connectivity to accommodate present and projected future freight flow through the state.”

“The Freight Corridor Network was identified through technology, data collection and discussions with leaders in the logistics industry,” State Transportation Board Chairman Jay Shaw said.

“We studied the situation and determined the most important areas of improvement to help keep freight moving and keep Georgia at the top of economic development efforts.”

DOT plans to mow, fix cracks, do other jobs

The DOT is planning a full load of maintenance work throughout Northeast Georgia, weather permitting.

In Hall County, motorists will see crews mowing along Ga. 11/U.S. 129, Ga. 60 and Interstate 985. Another crew is set to repair a damaged slope along Ga. 365 about 1 mile north of I-985’s Exit 24.

Crews also are set to refresh striping at crosswalks on Ga. 11/U.S. 129 and seal cracks in the driving surface on Ga. 60/Thompson Bridge Road north of Gainesville. Both efforts will call for a lane closure.

Crews are scheduled to work 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. today through Friday.

Work also is planned in Jackson, Dawson, Forsyth, Habersham and White counties.

Looking ahead to the Labor Day weekend, the DOT will suspend all scheduled and ongoing construction and maintenance lane closures from noon Friday to 5 a.m. Sept. 3.\

“The only exception would be for emergency maintenance work in the case of traffic accidents and other unpredictable types of transportation incidents,” said Bayne Smith, district engineer serving Northeast Georgia.

Design OK’d for Ga. 13 widening in Buford

The DOT has approved the design and location of a widening project on Ga. 13 in Buford.

The project calls for widening the road from two lanes to four between Sawnee Avenue in Gwinnett County to Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway in South Hall County. The project, running 1.65 miles, calls for two 11-foot travel lanes, a 20-foot grass median, 5-foot sidewalks on the east side and 8-foot sidewalks on the west side.

Right-of-way acquisition is estimated to cost $10.9 million and construction, $7.9 million, according to the DOT.

Buford has spent $450,000 for preliminary engineering.

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