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Flowery Branch looking at extending Pine Street
City aims to help traffic flow, economy
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Flowery Branch hopes to extend Pine Street from Church Street to Railroad Avenue.

Flowery Branch is getting more serious about extending Pine Street, which officials hope will improve downtown traffic flow and boost the local economy.

The road’s extension from Church Street to Railroad Avenue has long been discussed, but city officials are now hoping to get some monetary help for the project from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

Flowery Branch City Council is set to vote Thursday on whether to apply for the grant from the bank, which is run by the State Road and Tollway Authority.

Local governments have until Monday to apply for the grant.

The road is considered a “critical component” of the city’s downtown redevelopment plan.

“The new street is going to allow for more shopping and more of the mixed-use (development),” city planner John McHenry said Monday.

“From a standpoint of being a road project that addresses mobility and economic development, it makes sense to apply for this grant.”

Otherwise, the city has nearly $347,000 set aside for the work from its special purpose local option sales tax program and a special projects fund.

The Pine Street extension is particularly tied to the South Hall County city’s plans to build a new city hall.

“Grant funding received to complete the extension … will allow the city to complete necessary on-street parking,” according to the city’s summary of the project.

The city also is planning “much-needed” stormwater improvements in the area.

The new city hall, which is in preliminary engineering, would consolidate all city departments, much of which sits on Main Street, the heart of the downtown shopping area, or between Gainesville Street and Railroad.

Moving city functions to the city hall would “nearly double the amount of retail space along Main Street,” officials said.

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