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Eyes on the Road: Hall County man named Georgia DOT chief engineer
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Longtime Georgia Department of Transportation executive Russell McMurry has been named the department’s chief engineer, succeeding Gerald Ross, who will retire Dec. 31, according to a news release from DOT.

McMurry worked 20 years in the Northeast Georgia district, including five years as the department’s district engineer, and lives in Hall County.

He is a native of Hart County and currently serves as director of engineering services.

“I am extremely pleased to have selected Russell for this critical position,” Georgia DOT Commissioner Keith Golden said after announcing the appointment at a meeting of the State Transportation Board.

“He brings a wealth of expertise in many disciplines and years of experience in many facets of Department operations.”

McMurry has worked for DOT since 1990.

“Following Gerald Ross is no small task,” McMurry said in the news release.

“But I feel as though I’ve spent my entire career preparing for this moment. I am ready for the challenges and so appreciative of the commissioner and the board giving me this opportunity.”

DOT plans to remove signal at Browns Bridge, Ga. 13

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to remove a signal at the intersection of Browns Bridge Road/Ga. 369 and Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 following a six-month traffic study, District 1 spokeswoman Teri Pope said.

The signal was turned off in March to begin that study, which monitored the operation and safety record at the intersection, Pope had said at the time.

The decision to turn off the signal was made after a 2011 study that showed “there were not sufficient vehicles utilizing this intersection to meet the minimum federal requirements,” Pope has said.

Pope said that the latest study has been reviewed by DOT and forwarded to the Atlanta office for final signatures before the signal will be removed.

Clarks Bridge project work could begin in late spring

Work could begin in late spring or early summer for a project to replace the Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road bridge over Lake Lanier, near Clarks Bridge Park and the Olympic rowing and canoe and kayak venue, Pope said last week.

Bid letting is scheduled for Jan. 18 and DOT should have a contractor by mid-February, she said.

Overall, the new bridge will be 952 feet long, nearly 50 feet wide and have five columns in Lake Lanier.

Bike lanes and sidewalks will run along Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road for 2,781 feet, officials have said.

The current bridge, built in 1958, is 834 feet long and nearly 24 feet wide.

Its 2010 average daily traffic count was 6,130 vehicles, Pope said.

Plans call for workers to “build the new bridge parallel to the existing structure, then shift traffic to the new bridge and demolish the old bridge,” she said.

The work features a 63-foot pedestrian tunnel connecting Clarks Bridge Park and the boathouse shared by the Lake Lanier Rowing Club and Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club to the venue and boat ramps.

The project is estimated to cost $8.6 million.


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