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Eyes on the Road: South Hall to be focus of '13 road work
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Some road construction is planned in 2013 but not the kind of action that might take place in a couple of years.

The main thrust will take place on Ga. 347 in South Hall, as motorists and area residents and business owners have already seen.

Expect to see that hit high gear, especially on Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway between McEver Road and Interstate 985 and Ga. 347/Friendship Road between Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway and Spout Springs Road.

The Lanier Islands Parkway project already has had an impact, as construction crews have shifted lanes, making access to businesses — such as to the QuikTrip gas station off Atlanta Highway — a little trickier.

Residents of Village at Deaton Creek off Thompson Mill Road certainly can see the footprint of the new Ga. 347 as it juts off Deaton Creek Parkway, the main entrance to the retirement community.

Work is well under way on what will be a six-lane road crossing in front of the planned Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton and the new Medical Plaza II.

That stretch of Ga. 347/Friendship Road is being built first as part of a project that stretches to I-985.

Elsewhere, construction could start in the spring on the $8.5 million project to replace Clarks Bridge on Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road at Lake Lanier, near Clarks Bridge Park and the Olympic rowing and canoe and kayak venue.

The project is set for a January letting.

Motorists should see plenty of road surfacings  throughout Hall, thanks to special purpose local option sales tax money and the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance Improvement Grant program. Also planned is a makeover of McEver  at Jim Crow Road/Gainesville Street in Flowery Branch.

Otherwise, for the most part, major construction is planned for future years.

Planning and right-of-way acquisition for big projects will continue in 2013, however.

The DOT could hold an open house by late spring on the widening of Ga. 60/Thompson Bridge Road from Ga. 136/Price Road to Yellow Creek Road in Murrayville. The estimated cost of that project is $17.3 million.

Cul-de-sacs are planned on Thompson Mill Road

Many of those who attended a December public hearing on the widening of Spout Springs Road had questions about the Friendship Road widening, said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the DOT’s District 1, which includes Hall County.

Among their concerns was what would happen to Thompson Mill Road, which now serves as the main connector between Spout Springs Road and Ga. 211.

When finished, the newly widened Ga. 347 will serve as the primary connection, but it will clip what is now a small stretch of Thompson Mill.

In that area, which is near Corners Drive, Thompson Mill will end in a cul-de-sac in both directions, or 1,000 feet west of Chateau Corners Drive and just west of Chateau Glen Drive.

Holiday road construction break ends on Wednesday

As part of its usual operations around major holidays, the DOT is suspending construction-related lane closures on all interstates and major state routes through midnight Tuesday.

“Incident management or emergency maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary on any route,” a DOT news release stated.

The DOT “reminds travelers to exercise caution nonetheless, as heavy holiday traffic is expected throughout the state,” the release said. “Crews may still be working and heavy equipment may remain staged in close proximity to highways, and safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures remain in place.”

Officials advise motorists to check maps on www.georgia-navigator.com for current road conditions or call 511 on any phone for free, real-time traffic information. Traveler information is also available at www.511ga.org and, for callers outside the state, at 1-877-694-2511.

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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