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Flowery Branch may see more road construction
Owner Yogesh Patel expects the new Hampton Inn & Suites will open in November. This artist's rendering shows the hotel, which is being built on Holland Dam Road.

FLOWERY BRANCH -- More roadwork could be on the way for busy Spout Springs Road in South Hall.

Although minor in comparison to previous enhancements, a planned retooling of the road at Spout Springs at Holland Dam Road and the traffic light serving two bustling shopping centers is expected to benefit shoppers and motorists alike.

The Flowery Branch City Council is expected to consider an engineering contract for the work at Wednesday’s meeting, which is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.

If approved, plans could be done in 30 days or so. The project could take two to three weeks to complete, said the city’s planning director, James Riker.

The work would involve widening Holland Dam Road at Spout Springs to allow for easier turns in and out of the road and extending a sidewalk now running on Holland Dam between Falcon Fitness and Publix grocery store to Spout Springs Road.

The project also involves making some sidewalk and curb changes on Spout Springs to give more space to motorists making a U-turn on Spout Springs at the traffic light at the Publix and Stonebridge Village shopping centers.

"There’s been people driving over the curb in this area," Riker said. "... If you’re not familiar with that (turn), you don’t crank the wheel tight enough."

Engineering services are expected to cost the city $8,000 to $9,000, and the project itself is expected to cost $25,000 to $35,000, Riker said.

"The problem is it’s such a small job, I don’t know how many companies will be interested in doing that work, given you have to do it under certain hours and certain conditions," Riker said.

Spout Springs is a well-traveled road and "we probably want to do (the project) with as little disruption as possible" to the opening of Hampton Inn & Suites, a 84-unit, five-story hotel being built on Holland Dam Road.

Hotel owner Yogesh Patel said he expects the hotel to open in November. He added that he believes the city’s planned improvements should "add to the curb appeal of the (hotel) property and the whole road."

The hotel itself "will be very well landscaped, and I think a streetscape, with sidewalk and some lights, would definitely finish it off great," Patel said.

"People (will be able to) walk up and down that road and walk to restaurants and things like that."

Both the Stonebridge and Publix centers feature numerous stores, including restaurants.

"I would say we certainly see improvements for pedestrian and vehicle traffic as being a priority for the Spouts Springs and Holland Dam Road intersection," City Manager Bill Andrew said.

With the hotel’s opening, "we want to move quickly to improve that area for use not only for patrons of the Hampton Inn but customers for Publix and the restaurants and other businesses in the area."

Spout Springs Road east of Interstate 985 has been a high-growth area for several years. Numerous subdivisions have been built down the road toward Braselton.

Adding to the traffic in that area are several Hall County schools. Another one possibly featuring 10th through 12th grades is set to open off Spout Springs Road in fall 2009.

A major revamping of Spout Springs at Hog Mountain Road, including a traffic light, was done several years ago. And when Stonebridge Village began developing last year, Spout Springs was improved again.

"Those were much, much bigger (projects)," Riker said. "We see this as a refinement based on conditions that have materialized out there that weren’t necessarily anticipated."