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Eyes on the Road: Meeting on 2040 plan postponed
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A fourth public meeting on Hall County’s update of its 2040 transportation plan has been postponed.

“Since Hall County is part of the Atlanta air quality nonattainment area, we need to coordinate with the Atlanta Regional Commission for air quality as part of our plan update,” said Sam Baker, senior transportation planner for the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“We have postponed the meeting to a later date when we will have results of emissions analysis from ARC.”

A date has not been set for the meeting, Baker said.

The federally required long-range plan must be renewed for another four years by August.

In November, a decision-making group comprising top elected officials from throughout the area gave its OK to a list of transportation projects through 2040.

The list shows projects divided by three time frames, 2015-20, 2021-30 and 2031-40.

The Hall County area is expected to receive about $1.4 billion for road projects through 2040 from local, state and federal sources. That represents $800 million less than what was projected in the current 2040 plan, which was completed in August 2011.

There are some $2.42 billion in projects that have been left off the “financially constrained” plan and otherwise dubbed as “aspirations.”

Holiday lane closures will go through Friday

The Georgia Department of Transportation will continue its holiday suspension of construction-related lane closures on all interstates and major state routes to end Friday.

Incident management or emergency maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary on any route.

Also, work zones will still be in place, so motorists are urged to slow in those areas and be alert for lane shifts or changes, District Engineer Brent Cook has said.

In Northeast Georgia, high congestion areas include interstates 85 and 985 in Gwinnett County, especially at the Mall of Georgia exit, or Ga. 20, and Sugarloaf Mills at Sugarloaf Parkway.

Also, traffic could be thick on I-85 in Jackson and Banks counties at the Banks Crossing Outlets and Ga. 400 in Dawson County at North Georgia Premium Outlets and other shopping spots around Ga. 53.

I-985 motorists also need to be careful at Ga. 347, as the inside left turn lane from I-985 north to Ga. 347 west will remain closed as construction occurs at the interchange. The outside left turn lane is open for use.

Officials advise drivers to check maps on for current road conditions or call 511 for free, real-time traffic information.

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