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How residents are reacting to plans for future road work in Hall
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Hall County resident Douglas Aiken looks at maps with coming road projects Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, during a public meeting at the North Hall Community Center. - photo by Scott Rogers

Bob Hassan wants a traffic light in front of Mundy Mill subdivision in Gainesville, where he lives, but he’s interested in surrounding roads, as well.

“I’ve been on Interstate 985 around rush hour, and it can be a little hairy,” he said.

Hassan and other area residents came with localized traffic concerns, such as Bill Fuqua, who lives off Cleveland Highway in North Hall, but many spoke about Hall County’s larger transportation needs.

“All of the (projects) that I have seen and looked at in detail are very worthwhile,” Doug Aiken said.

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Visitors to the North Hall Community Center look at maps of upcoming road projects Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, during a public meeting. - photo by Scott Rogers

Residents attended public meetings Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 19-20, held by Hall’s transportation planning agency, the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, as it develops an updated road projects plan.

The agency has been working to gather public input as it puts together a plan for projects extending to 2050.

“We have to do this every five years, and a big piece of (the update) is public input,” said Joseph Boyd, the MPO’s transportation planning director.

One of the other tools used to get feedback was an online survey that has since closed, Boyd said.

Proposed transportation projects will include new roads, road extensions, road widenings and intersection improvements. The MPO is also looking at improvements for transit, bicycling and pedestrians.

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Visitors to the North Hall Community Center look at maps of upcoming road projects Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, during a public meeting. - photo by Scott Rogers

Much of the list will be familiar to longtime residents.

The Sardis Connector, for example, has been in the making for years. The project, which calls for a new four-lane road between Sardis and Thompson Bridge roads, is slated to be built between 2020 and 2025.

Other short-term projects include roundabouts on Green Street at Academy Street/E.E. Butler Parkway and at Riverside Drive/Thompson Bridge Road.

The $80.8 million widening of I-985 to six lanes between Interstate 85 and Mundy Mill Road also is scheduled to take place before 2025.

One of the biggest projects on the list is the widening of McEver Road in West Hall. The endeavor covers two phases between Mundy Mill Road and Lanier Islands Parkway/Ga. 347 — a nearly $200 million effort including construction and preliminary costs such as right of way acquisition.

Boyd said “any public input we receive will definitely be documented and relayed back to (MPO committees) to be considered as a part of their decision-making process.”


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Joseph Bahin looks at maps showing upcoming road projects Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, during a public meeting at the North Hall Community Center. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Maps showing future road projects are on display at the North Hall Community Center Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, during a public meeting. - photo by Scott Rogers
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