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Eyes on the Road: Traffic study firm has ties to Flowery Branch
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A Norcross firm that has done work for Flowery Branch, including a downtown transportation study in 2010, is gearing up for a $125,000 study of Gainesville’s traffic needs.

Pond & Co. of Norcross got the green light last week when the Hall County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with the firm.

The city will bear $25,000 of the cost, with the Federal Highway Administration paying $100,000.

Planning Director Srikanth Yamala has said he expects the study to take eight-10 months.

“We’ll be including extensive public and stakeholder involvement throughout the planning process,” he said.

Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan has said that one of his goals as mayor was completing the study, which he believed was long overdue.

Pond gave Flowery Branch a reality check with its transportation study.

Its report listed millions of dollars in recommended new roads, intersection and road fixes, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements.

One of the city’s main issues is that motorists have to dogleg their way through narrow downtown streets to reach main thoroughfares, such as McEver Road and Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway.

Some recommended improvements included extending Lights Ferry Road to Snelling Avenue and building a new road to connect Gainesville Street and McEver Road.

Also, the study suggested a greenway for pedestrians and bicyclists.

On Oct. 4, the Flowery Branch City Council voted to pay Pond $21,000 to study the condition of four culverts along Flowery Branch Creek.

Stormwater problems have plagued the city for years, highlighted by the December 2009 collapse of the Spring Street culvert, stranding residents in a 50-unit apartment complex.

Railroad crossing at Ga. 17 in Royston set for repair

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to repair the railroad crossing at Ga. 17/Royston Bypass and Claude Floyd Road on Tuesday in Royston, weather permitting.

A detour will be in place as traffic cannot cross the railroad tracks during the work.

Delays are expected in the area as work occurs, and the DOT advises motorists to avoid the area if possible.

The detour route for Ga. 17 southbound is staying on Ga. 17 Business into Royston. And the detour route for Ga. 8 westbound is taking Ga. 17 north to Ga. 17 Business south into Royston.

Norfolk-Southern Railroad will repair the railroad crossing.

DOT plans lane shift as part of bridge work in Dawson County

The DOT plans to shift Ga. 53 lanes at Etowah River Road and Thompson Road in Dawson County on Tuesday.

That will “create room for the contractor to begin building a retaining wall,” said Harold Mull, DOT district construction engineer.

This $2.7 million project calls for new turn lanes on Ga. 53 and changing the grade on all four roadways to improve sight distance for motorists.

The project completion date is June 30, and the contractor is Baldwin Paving Co. of Marietta.

Mull said Tuesday’s work will be “the first of many changes to occur during construction.”

“There will be signs at the work zone to let motorists know this change is coming,” he said. “If the weather does not cooperate and the date is shifted, the signs on the project will have that information too.”

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

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