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Funding for Spout Springs Road widening on fast track
0526SPOUT
Traffic flows on Spout Springs Road at Hog Mountain Road in Flowery Branch in December 2015. Hall County expects to start buying right-of-way this year to eventually widen Spout Springs Road. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Hall County officials are poised to begin funneling more funds from the county’s special purpose local option sales tax revenues to begin phase 1 of the Spout Springs Road widening project in South Hall, particularly right of way acquisition.

With the right of way property purchases coming up quickly, other SPLOST projects may have to be put on hold “until the cash flow” comes in, Hall officials said at a Board of Commissioners work session Monday.

Public Works Director Ken Rearden presented for approval a right of way contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation in which the state agency commits to reimburse Hall County $21.67 million for the acquisition of right of way property that would pave the way for the project.

Commissioners are likely to approve the use of more SPLOST funds for the right of way purchases at their meeting Thursday.

“We’re excited about this and ready to move forward,” Rearden said.

Under the terms of the DOT contract, the state would reimburse Hall County almost $15.17 million in the current fiscal year. The remainder of the reimbursement — about $6.5 million — would be paid in fiscal year 2018.

The county has approximately $3 million of SPLOST funds for the Spout Springs project that was not used last year, and another $4 million earmarked this year that’s unused, but still being collected. Commissioners are looking to add to those totals with the vote Thursday.

The first phase of the project would stretch from Interstate 985 to Union Circle, and the second phase would run from Union Circle to its end point in Braselton.

Officials have made improvements to the artery that connects Flowery Branch to Braselton a priority because of the rapid spread of commercial and residential developments in South Hall.

Construction is likely to begin in 2019.