A long-awaited project adding right-turn lanes at two intersections on Ga. 369 in Gainesville could start later this year, with the project going out for construction proposals this spring.
“Once the construction documents are finalized, construction will begin,” said Chris Rotalsky, Gainesville’s public works director, earlier this week.
“We are currently working with the utility companies for relocation of their respective utilities,” he said.
The city is looking to add an eastbound right-turn lane on Jesse Jewell Parkway/Ga. 369 at Auburn Avenue and a westbound right turn-lane on Browns Bridge Road/Ga. 369 at West End Avenue.
Auburn Avenue is across from Alta Vista Cemetery. West End Avenue is just east of Pearl Nix Parkway and at Dimo Fine Jewelry.
“At first, we were against (the project), but then we thought about it, it’s going to help customers access the business,” said Robert Dimo of the jewelry store.
“The only problem we might have is if they (are working on it) during Christmas time. That’s going to be a problem. We have heavy traffic at Christmas.”
Dimo said he hopes the store will be operating in a new, two-story building under construction behind the current store and facing West End Avenue. Plans call for tearing down the existing building and adding 25-30 parking spaces.
“I’m thinking in August we should have it all completed,” Dimo said.
City officials have said they hope the road project will help with traffic relief along the major artery. Ga. 369 runs west to the Forsyth County line and east through New Holland to Interstate 985.
The project dates back several years, with the city receiving a $522,125 grant in 2014 from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, a State Road and Tollway Authority-run program that provides grants and loans for transportation projects.
Former public works director David Dockery once described it as not an especially big transportation project but one “that qualified for grant funding.”
“We just picked some low-hanging fruit to get started on the (master plan),” he said.
The city’s transportation master plan features a bevy of projects involving road widenings and other improvements, as well as new construction, through 2040.