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Eyes on the Roads: Roads planning group to get 2040 plan update today
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The consultant helping the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Hall County area’s lead transportation planning agency, is set to give an MPO committee a status report this morning on the 2040 plan update.

Richard Fangmann of Norcross-based Pond & Co. plans to talk to the Technical Coordinating Committee at 10:30 a.m. in the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The federally required long-range plan must be renewed for another four years by August.

In November, a decision-making group comprising top elected officials from throughout the area gave its OK to a list of transportation projects through 2040.

The list shows projects divided by three time frames, 2015-20, 2021-30 and 2031-40.

The Hall County area is expected to receive about $1.4 billion for road projects through 2040 from local, state and federal sources. That’s $800 million less than what was projected in the current 2040 plan, which was completed in August 2011.

There are some $2.42 billion in projects that have been left off the “financially constrained” plan and otherwise dubbed as “aspirations.”

Meanwhile, a fourth public meeting had been set on the plan this month, but Fangmann said on Dec. 19 it likely would take place in March.

Meetings to adopt the 2040 plan are now set for April through early May.

“The revised schedule allows for ... time for review and comment on the preliminary draft plan document by the MPO staff and (Federal Highway Administration),” Fangmann said.

Work ongoing to widen roads

The Georgia Department of Transportation is moving forward on widening Ga. 17 in Stephens County.

About 500 feet of Davis Road will be closed for about two months at Ga. 17 beginning Monday, weather permitting, as construction workers raise the grade by 8 feet to match the new Ga. 17. The detour route will direct traffic from Ga. 17 to Hickory Log Circle and then Davis.

The work is part of a $20 million effort to widen a 3-mile stretch of Ga. 17 to a four-lane divided highway with sidewalks from Fieldcrest Road to Memorial Drive.

Work is required to be completed by April 30, 2016.

Ga. 17 is a key artery across much of North Georgia, including running from Interstate 85 to Helen.

Mowing taking place this week

A DOT crew is mowing slopes inside rights of way along Ga. 11/U.S. 129 and Ga. 52 in Hall County this week.

The shoulders will be closed as this work occurs. The work is planned from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Friday.

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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