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Eyes on the Road: Public curious about bills impact on local funding
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The key question asked at Monday night’s last public-input meeting on the Hall County area’s draft 2040 transportation plan was the potential impact of a transportation funding bill if passed by the Georgia General Assembly.

The Senate narrowly passed the bill on Friday. The bill goes back to the House.

Sam Baker, senior transportation planner for the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, Hall’s lead transportation planning organization, said he explained that if the bill becomes law and pumps in new money, the MPO would simply adjust.

“We will amend our long-range plan and transportation improvement program and will fund additional projects and/or move projects from the long range to the short range,” he said.

There’s no telling how much that might be, at this point, although a state report issued on the matter said Georgia needs at least $1 billion annually to keep up with needed roadwork.

Monday’s meeting, which drew 40-50 people, isn’t the end of the road for public comment on Hall’s $1.4 billion plan.

In following federal law, the MPO has scheduled a comment period set to run through April 24.

The plan can be viewed at ghmpo.org/GHMPO_2040MTP.asp under “Draft Plan” on the right side of the page.

Hard copies of the plan also are available at the Hall County Planning Department, which is at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The draft plan now will circulate through MPO committees, with adoption by the decision-making policy committee set for May 12.

The federal government needs to approve the document by Aug. 8, Baker said.

Culvert replacement in Jackson requires detour

A public meeting has been set to discuss a proposed detour as part of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s rebuilding of a culvert on Ga. 11/U.S. 129 in
Jackson County.

The meeting is set for 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at Cornerstone Church, 6933 Ga. 11, Jefferson. DOT engineers will be available to discuss the project and detour details.

There will be no formal presentation.

The project involves a culvert that allows the Mulberry tributary to flow underneath the roadway. The culvert is 6.3 miles southwest of Jefferson.

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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