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Eyes on the Road: McEver Road crossings to get work in '13
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Hall County is looking to improve two major intersections on McEver Road in West Hall this year.

Right-of-way acquisition should take place and construction should start sometime this fiscal year, which ends June 30, at Jim Crow Road/Gainesville Street in Flowery Branch and at Flat Creek Road in Oakwood.

“Our goal is to start construction April to May and probably work through the summer,” said Jody Woodall, a civil engineer with the county.

The county’s special purpose local option sales tax program would largely fund those projects.

Both are at busy crossings, with Flat Creek and Gainesville Street serving as primary entrances into Oakwood and Flowery Branch, respectively, and Flat Creek and Jim Crow leading to Lake Lanier communities.

Elsewhere in Hall County, officials are hoping to complete an environmental impact document by early spring on the Sardis Connector, a planned four-lane road between Dawsonville Highway in West Hall and Thompson Bridge Road in North Hall.

Once that document gets approval, the county can begin to start considering right-of-way acquisition and construction. Funding isn’t available for those two stages of work.

The county’s SPLOST has been paying for road projects, but because “revenues are below what we projected, we’ve had to reduce budgets on projects,” Woodall said.

The county is getting near to where it could start right-of-way purchases for the Memorial Park Extension project, but that’s another case of having had to delay a project because of SPLOST falling short, Woodall said.

That project would involve extending Memorial Park Drive from Ga. 369/Browns Bridge Road to McEver Road Extension. The costs for right-of-way and construction have been estimated to be $12 million.

A companion project to the Memorial Park Extension is improvements to Skelton Road, a narrow two-lane road that serves as a popular, thickly residential connector between Shallowford Road and Browns Bridge Road.

Officials have called for widening Skelton Road to three lanes — one through lane in each direction and a center left-turn lane — from Shallowford Road to the new Memorial Park Extension.

Contract is set on final segment of GRIP freeway

The Fall Line Freeway, a Governor’s Road Improvement Program corridor crossing the state from Columbus to Augusta, moved closer to completion last week as the Georgia Department of Transportation announced a $58.3 million contract for construction of the route’s final section.

The final nine miles of the 215-mile freeway will be built between Ga. 24 and U.S. 441 south of Milledgeville in Baldwin and Wilkinson counties by Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. of Fleming Island, Fla.

The project will include construction of a new, four-lane roadway with a total of eight bridges spanning the Oconee River and two area creeks. The work is scheduled for completion at the end of 2015.

The Fall Line Freeway corridor has received a total Georgia DOT investment of more than $500 million since the GRIP program began in 1989.

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

jgill@gainesvilletimes.com

facebook.com/jeffagill

@JeffGTimes

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