The Georgia Department of Transportation is making room for the controversial new Martin Road interchange, or Exit 14, in South Hall, snapping up a couple of key pieces of property this week.
The Hall County Board of Education voted Monday to accept a $45,000 offer from the Georgia Department of Transportation for a half-acre of land near Martin Technology Academy of Math and Science.
And the Hall County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote Thursday to accept $34,700 from the DOT for a small parcel of land at Fire Station No. 5 off Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 at Martin Road.
Both pieces of land are in an area being eyed for a new Interstate 985 interchange, or Exit 14, which has drawn much resistance from area residents.
Residents have said they are worried about the flood of new traffic, particularly trucks, along Martin Road, which runs between two heavily traveled roads, Ga. 13 and Winder Highway/Ga. 43.
Several “Stop Exit 14” signs are stuck in yards along Martin Road.
Work could begin in late summer or early fall next year on the $27 million interchange, which calls for a diamond interchange connecting Martin Road on the east side of I-985 to H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway on the west side.
A committee made up of 15 local residents has been formed to give input to a freight study that will look at the Martin Road corridor and explore transportation options from Exit 14 to Winder Highway.
The group has suggested a realignment of Falcon Parkway between Hog Mountain Road and Pauline Drive, a move that would, in effect, move the state route closer to Exit 14 and traffic coming from I-985, particularly trucks, away from Martin Road and other residential areas.