Improvements are planned for a busy stretch of road in Hall, Gwinnett and Barrow counties and crossing Interstate 85.
However, Georgia Department of Transportation construction along Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 might not start for another five years, DOT district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said Tuesday.
The project area extends from Friendship Road/Ga. 347 in South Hall to Ga. 124 in Barrow.
Officials held meetings last week to discuss plans, and “currently, we are putting a schedule together for the … improvements,” Strickland said.
More details about a “typical section” of the improvements will be known after the project’s concept development is finished, she said.
The construction year is 2022, but some fixes could be done sooner.
Braselton is “sponsoring an earlier project to do some immediate improvements along the corridor,” Strickland said.
The town is eyeing construction of roundabouts at the I-85 southbound exit ramp and at the nearby entrance to the Chateau Elan resort, Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Scott said.
“South Carolina has lots of roundabouts on the ramps, and they work very well,” she said. “We’re going to try it.”
The Chateau Elan roundabout would connect with the Braselton Parkway extension, a proposed road that would run parallel to I-85 between Ga. 211 and Jesse Cronic Road.
Braselton, which is in Hall, Barrow, Gwinnett and Jackson counties, then wants to focus on widening Ga. 211 from near Liberty Church Road to Ga. 347, Scott said.
Widening south of Liberty Church toward I-85 might be trickier, as that stretch would involve a bridge over Duncan Creek.
Generally, Braselton is teaming up with DOT on widening Ga. 211 “so we can make (improvements) happen faster,” Scott said.
In this year’s Town Council planning day, “making sure that road infrastructure is ready for the growth that we’re seeing was (the council’s) No. 1 priority,” she said.
“We need the (improvements),” Scott said. “We are not Atlanta traffic bad, but at the peak hours … the road fails.”
“There’s a lot more commercial, there’s a lot more jobs, and residential is growing every day. And there’s the hospital, which is the catalyst for most of it.”
Since Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton’s opening in April 2015, the area has been growing rapidly.
The first phase of the $75 million Highpoint Medical Center, off Ga. 347 at the Gwinnett-Hall County line, is set to open in mid-July, said Frank Norton Jr., CEO of The Norton Agency, which is developing the project.
The 43,000-square-foot building will house The Longstreet Clinic and Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic’s Braselton offices.
A Chick-fil-A restaurant is planned off Ga. 211 as part of a larger development, with five other parcels on now-vacant land fronting Ga. 211 between Thompson Mill Road and Ga. 347.
A Dunkin Donuts also is looking to locate on the retail site, Braselton Planning and Development Director Kevin Keller has said.