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Eyes on the Road: Oakwood busy with road projects
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Work on a road connecting Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway to Ga. 53/Mundy Mill Road at Curt Lance Way could start this month.

The Hughes Drive extension could be completed by fall, Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said.

The project costs are $1 million for right of way and $1.4 million for construction.

The work will be done in partnership with Milton Martin Toyota, which has acquired 20 acres off Ga. 13 near Interstate 985, Brown said.

Milton Martin has plans to move its dealership to that property from its current site at 2350 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

“There will be some land in there that will be primed for hopefully some good retail/restaurant-type development,” Brown said.

The dealership had planned a ground-breaking ceremony this week at the property, but “after visiting the property, we found it too difficult for people to get to the (ceremony site) until the road was cut,” spokeswoman Emily Hayes said.

“We are looking to reschedule the ceremony till later this summer,” she added.

In another road project, the South Hall city is accepting construction bids through June 2 on a project that could ease traffic stemming from King’s Hawaiian’s planned expansion.

Oakwood is seeking a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ Employment Incentive Program to go toward realigning M. Stringer Road.

The incentive program can help pay for a variety of projects, but those “creating opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons to advance themselves by obtaining employment, greater job security, better working conditions, job training, enhancement of workplace skills and advancement opportunities receive the greatest consideration,” states the DCA website.

California-based bakery King’s Hawaiian, which has been operating in a 120,000-square-foot plant since the fall of 2011, plans to double production at its current plant at 5420 H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway and build a neighboring 120,000-square-foot facility, creating more than 400 jobs by 2016, officials have said.

Officials expect when the expansion is completed, King’s Hawaiian will have invested $100 million into its Hall County operations.

DOT to repair sinkhole on Ga. 51

The Georgia Department of Transportation is seeking bids from contractors for repairs to be made as soon as possible for a sinkhole on Ga. 51 at Lake Hartwell in Hart County.

“This repair is beyond the scope of Georgia DOT’s downsized in-house maintenance forces,” states a news release from the agency.

“Motorists’ safety is our primary goal, so the roadway will remain closed to traffic until it is completely repaired,” District Engineer Bayne Smith said. “We are working carefully to develop a strong repair plan that prevents this problem from recurring at this location.”

Officials said they believe the sinkhole was caused by a problem with a pipe that runs about 40 feet under Ga. 51. The pipe, which is 10 feet in diameter and 150 feet long, needs to be removed and replaced by a new, custom-made pipe. Then the substructure for the state route can be rebuilt.

However, “if that weren’t complicated enough, each end of this huge pipe is under about 4 feet of Lake Hartwell water,” Smith said. “This is a massive undertaking, requiring very specialized skills, equipment and materials.”

As of Tuesday, the DOT didn’t have a schedule or estimated cost for repairs.

The sinkhole opened up on May 6.

Local law enforcement notified DOT of the sinkhole. Once the asphalt was removed, engineers found a cavity 10 feet square at the top and 20 feet deep, taking up almost the entire northbound lane. The dirt supporting the roadway was undermined.

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



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