Flowery Branch’s long-anticipated Lights Ferry Connector could be fully open to traffic in late March or early April with the completion of a roundabout.
“Landscaping is going in, including the trees that are part of the overall green space (in the roundabout),” said John McHenry, the South Hall County city’s community development director.
Also, workers need to do some final paving and put up signs, he said.
“There are some punch-list items that need to be done in terms of concrete and sidewalks,” McHenry said. “There’s some wear and tear that happens during construction that has to be fixed before the final rollout.”
And fancying things up a bit is a granite wall in the roundabout that will feature the city’s name.
“It’s going to look really nice, with the landscaping and everything,” McHenry said.
Beyond physical appeal, the connector will provide a straight shot for motorists between Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and McEver Road.
It also will feed into Phil Niekro Boulevard, which leads to another major thoroughfare, Interstate 985. And Phil Niekro becomes the busy Spout Springs Road as it passes under I-985.
For the meantime, a detour is still in place, but motorists can travel part of the new roadway, a section between Church Street and Ga. 13.
“The big thing about (the project), too, is that it opens up kind of a (downtown) gateway area,” City Manager Bill Andrew has said.
“It makes getting around easier,” McHenry said of the $2.1 million road, “but at the same time, it’s an economic development project.”
Mitchell was considered an ideal spot for the roundabout as it’s the widest road downtown and helps direct motorists to Main Street, where a sort of business renaissance has taken place.
The connector is being funded through the city’s capital improvement fund, but a bulk of it — or nearly $1.6 million — comes from a loan and grant provided by the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, managed by the State Road and Tollway Authority.