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Eyes on the Road: Norcross firm speaks about roads study
Richard Fangmann

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy committee heard last week from Pond & Co., the firm that’s about to embark on Gainesville’s transportation study.

The Norcross firm won the $125,000 contract to conduct the study, which Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan called “long overdue.”

“We’re really pleased to be here and be a part of this process,” said Richard Fangmann, Pond’s director of transportation planning.

He said the firm would be looking at “traditional” and “nontraditional” solutions concerning Gainesville’s traffic woes.

“There is certainly a role for (road widenings) and we need to look at those and ... where they are appropriate,” Fangmann said.

But also Pond will be considering “complete streets,” which take into account different types of users, including motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

And Pond will look at it as a “grid network” of interconnecting streets and “how it can work for vehicular traffic,” Fangmann said.

“You’ve got a lot of good things to work with here,” he said.

Overall, Pond will look at problem areas and determine “what’s the context of that problem, (such as) is this a downtown street with local circulation or a major connecting road that we need to solve?”

“We’ll look at a range of options and then achievable recommendations,” Fangmann said.

The plan is to complete the study by August, working with public “stakeholders” and others in the community along the way.

“I’m looking forward to getting into (the project) and seeing what we come out with,” Dunagan said.

Gainesville is providing $25,000 of the project costs, with the remaining $100,000 coming from the federal government.

Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller bragged on Pond, which did a similar study for Flowery Branch in 2010.

“We had great results from that and we’re trying to implement some of those things into our downtown now,” he said.


Commission votes to OK work on road projects

The Hall County Board of Commissioners took several road-related actions at its Thursday night meeting in the new Hall County Government Center on Browns Bridge Road.

The commission voted to spend $682,100 to repair a collapsing culvert on McEver Road at Big Creek, awarding a contract to SAK Construction Co. of O’Fallon, Mo.

Also, the board gave its OK to $839,209 on paving and resurfacing Ponderosa Drive and Cobb Griffin, Gilmore, Lotheridge and North Browning Bridge roads. The project was awarded to Shepco Paving Inc. of Lithonia.

Combined, the projects cost about $1.52 million, but the budget was nearly $1.6 million. The county’s special purpose local option sales tax money will pay for the work.

Also, the commission voted to contract with Gainesville firm Moreland Altobelli Associates to study a possible realignment of Howard Road from Ga. 365 to White Sulphur Road.

Gainesville has been working with the DOT and RaceTrac, which has a convenience store at Ga. 365 and Howard Road, to make improvements at that intersection. A new traffic signal started operating there in late October.

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


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