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Eyes on the Road: New Ga. 347 section partially open in South Hall
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A section of Ga. 347 has partially opened to South Hall County motorists.

Cars can now travel between Spout Springs Road and Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway, running past the Northeast Georgia Health System’s burgeoning, 110-acre River Place campus.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has opened one lane in each direction between the roads.

Previously, motorists traveled Ga. 347/Thompson Mill Road between Spout Springs and Ga. 211.

The new segment, set to be completely open this spring, is part of the larger $38.4 million, 8-mile widening of Ga. 347 between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211.

The overall project is slated for completion by Jan. 10, 2016.

River Place will serve as the home of the $187.4 million Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, which is now being built and is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

A road also will encircle the hospital and may connect to Medical Plaza 1, a medical office building now facing Ga. 347, via a bridge.

“The connector bridge is currently being designed and (plans) will be complete in May,” said Rudy Lonergan, director of facilities development for the health system.

NGHS “will make a decision in June when pricing is received on whether to move forward with the construction, but most likely, it will be approved.”

In a separate project, Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway between McEver Road and I-985 is under construction, with work there set to finish by Nov. 30.

Another Ga. 20 project contract awarded

The DOT has awarded an $18.9 million contract for the widening of Ga. 20 from Samples Road to James Burgess Road in Forsyth County.

The project calls for widening the 2.75-mile stretch from two lanes to a four-lane divided highway with sidewalks.

The completion date is set for Nov. 30, 2016, with construction expected to begin this summer.

Once work is underway, a total of 7.53 miles of Ga. 20 will be under construction in three projects from James Burgess in Forsyth to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Gwinnett County.

Peachtree Industrial runs north into Hall County, where it becomes McEver Road.

The 1.07-mile project from James Burgess to Burnett Trail in Gwinnett includes new bridges across the Chattahoochee River, as well as sidewalks.

Work began in June and is slated to be finished by May 31, 2016.

The Gwinnett County Department of Transportation is managing the 3.71-mile project from Burnett Trail to Peachtree Industrial. This section will be widened to a four-lane divided highway with sidewalks and is also under construction.

Work began on that $31.8 million project in June, with completion set for June 30, 2016.

Ga. 20 serves as a major east-west artery between Gwinnett and Forsyth.

“The roadway is also a regional corridor, as one of three east-west state routes crossing Lake Lanier,” DOT board member Rudy Bowen said.

“The widening of this section of the roadway will enhance traffic movement and safety for pedestrians as well as motorists.”

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


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