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Ledan/Sardis roundabout spotlights trend in traffic relief
Traffic moves through the Sardis and Ledan roads four-way stop. Hall officials have approved a plan to bring a roundabout to the northwest Hall County intersection.

It’s fair to say the roundabout is catching on.

Hall County is moving ahead with a traffic circle at the intersection of Ledan and Sardis roads to reduce congestion, particularly during rush hour and before and after the school day.

County officials have allocated $1 million for the one-lane project, which could begin this fall after contract bidding is complete.

The improvement project would be paid for from the county’s special purpose local option sales tax revenue.

The roundabout was chosen over a traffic signal and four-lane stretch through the intersection, a costlier project with additional road and signal light maintenance.

It is also scaled back from an earlier proposal to construct two lanes through the traffic circle.

That project would have cost about $4 million, officials said, and was scrapped after the Department of Transportation could not guarantee reimbursement for additional right of way costs.

The two-lane roundabout previously considered might also have interfered with the planned Sardis Connector, which would connect Dawsonville Highway/Ga. 53 in West Hall to Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 in North Hall.

That road would travel roughly along Fran Mar Drive, Brackett Drive and Ledan Road. It would travel between Southers Road and Garden Boulevard before ending on Mount Vernon Road just east of Ga. 60.

The county’s long-range transportation plan, updated last year and revised every four years, says the new road could be open by 2023.

The Ledan/Sardis roundabout follows the recent construction of a traffic circle along the new Lights Ferry Connector in Flowery Branch.

The connector provides a straight shot for motorists between Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and McEver Road.

It also feeds into Phil Niekro Boulevard, which leads to another major thoroughfare, Interstate 985. And Phil Niekro becomes the busy Spout Springs Road as it passes under I-985.

Meanwhile, Gainesville is considering using existing state routes to connect Thompson Bridge Road to Limestone Parkway, Jesse Jewell Parkway and Interstate 985 to help steer traffic around one of the city’s busiest roads, Green Street.

One particular feature of the project is a possible roundabout at Oak Tree Drive and Riverside Drive.

Finally, a roundabout at Pine Valley and White Sulphur roads in Gainesville would be built as part of a proposed 240-unit apartment complex, though it is unclear if the project will move forward after the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board recommended denying the project.

City planning officials have said the roundabout would be necessary as “additional apartment traffic will exacerbate an already difficult intersection condition.”

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