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Green Street improvements could start in 2024
Traffic project includes roundabouts, raised median; timing hinges on funding
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Green Street road improvements could take place a decade from now, but possibly sooner, depending on funding.

“We are always working to find funding,” said Sam Baker, transportation planning manager for Hall’s transportation planning agency, Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization. “We will definitely look into it.”

The project, expected to cost about $15 million in 2024, calls for a raised 5-foot median along Green Street and roundabouts at E.E. Butler Parkway/Academy Street and at Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 and Riverside Drive near the Gainesville Civic Center.

The project’s placement in Hall County road plans — happening between 2024 and 2032 — is set to be considered May 8 by the MPO’s Policy Committee, a group of top elected officials making up the agency’s decision-making arm.

The MPO’s Technical Coordinating Committee, a group including local and state transportation officials, recommended the measure earlier this week.

Green Street traffic has been a long-time thorny issue for Gainesville, as much of the city’s northbound and southbound traffic funnels through the four-lane stretch lined by historic homes.

And that includes truck traffic trying to reach Interstate 985.

Bypasses have been long discussed, with a project in the works to realign Oak Tree Drive to help direct some traffic off Green Street by directing traffic down Limestone Parkway and Jesse Jewell Parkway, heading toward I-985.

Making road improvements and easing traffic congestion are top priorities for Gainesville during this year’s budget process, officials said this week.

The Green Street project is being considered for placement on road plans because another project — the $46 million widening of Martin Road — was removed by officials last year.

About $1 million in improvements, including a possible roundabout at JM Turk Road, are now being eyed for Martin Road.

Also possibly filling the void would be widening Interstate 85 from four to six lanes between Hamilton Mill Road in North Gwinnett to Ga. 53 in Braselton.

The project is projected to be completed by 2023.

“I’m a huge fan of the widening,” Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Scott said.