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Eyes on the Road: Several Hall road projects have no money
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Several Hall County projects have federal funding uncertainty, but at least three cited last week by Georgia Department of Transportation District Engineer Brent Cook have no funding certainty at all.

Cook, speaking at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s annual DOT forum at the University of North Georgia-Gainesville, cited the widening of U.S. 129/Cleveland Highway between Gainesville and Cleveland, Ga. 60/Thompson Bridge Road in North Hall and Ga. 369/Browns Bridge Road from McEver Road to Ga. 9 in Forsyth County.

“These are projects that are in various stages of design or concept work,” Cook said. “We just don’t have funding available to move forward on them. They are critical corridors to Hall County, but as of right now, they remain unfunded.”

Also, several bridge projects are on hold for right-of-way acquisition, including Browns Bridge on Ga. 369/Browns Bridge Road at the Hall-Forsyth line and Two Mile Creek bridge on Ga. 369 in Forsyth. Others are on hold in Banks, Dawson and Stephens counties.

DOT rolls out ‘TravelSmart’ website

The Georgia Department of Transportation has redesigned its website at that, officials say, should be easy to navigate on computers and mobile devices.

It has a new theme, as well.

“TravelSmart” is intended to represent the DOT’s goals of “ensuring safe and efficient travel by applying innovative engineering and cost-effective solutions to Georgia’s transportation system,” a DOT news release states.

TravelSmart encompasses all aspects of transportation and modes of travel: roads, bridges, public transit, general aviation, rail, waterways and bike and pedestrian programs.

“The TravelSmart theme reflects Georgia DOT’s big picture — who we are, our services, our programs and the work that we do,” spokeswoman Karlene Barron said.

The home page features the TravelSmart menu, as well as a rotating banner with key and timely information.

“A major factor in our decision to produce a new website was feedback from the public, from contractors and employees that the old website had become cumbersome and cluttered. It was difficult to find information,” Barron said.

“The new site, which was developed in-house, simplifies the process of locating what you need — whether it’s details of a public information open house, bidding and letting information, or funding programs.”

TravelSmart has four components: DriveSmart, which addresses safety and congestion; Partner-Smart, how DOT works with consultants, contractors, designers, suppliers, media and the public; BuildSmart, which includes project planning and constructing; and InvestSmart, which focuses on how the DOT allocates public resources.

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