Hall County has gotten $640,000 from the state for a new single-lane roundabout at JM Turk
and Martin roads in South Hall.
“The project will improve safety by addressing vertical and horizontal curvature issues, slowing traffic and mitigating truck traffic, which is likely to increase with the addition of a new exit off I-985,” states a press release from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office.
The roundabout was being pursued by Hall to help ease the expected crunch of traffic spilling off the new Exit 14, which will connect Martin Road on the east side of Interstate 985 to H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway on the west side.
“We’d like to thank the governor and local legislative delegation for the role they played in securing this funding for Hall County,” Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said Wednesday, June 20.
Construction is well underway on the interchange project, which is set for completion in 2019.
Ken Rearden, Hall’s public works and public utilities director, said it would be about four to six weeks before the county has a contract to be approved by commissioners.
He said the intersection is in need of improvements.
“It’s almost a Y intersection instead of a T intersection,” Rearden said. “There’s a lot of traffic in there, and this roundabout is going to make traffic flow very well and deter some truck traffic.”
The grant required a local match — $160,000, which would come from Hall’s special purpose
local option sales tax revenue, Crumley said.
Darlene Long, chairwoman of Martin Road Stakeholders, a citizens group tracking the road improvements, said her group is pleased the roundabout has been funded, adding she believed “the process worked.”
“This will discourage freight truck traffic onto Martin Road and also help the communities on JM Turk Road with this dangerous intersection,” she said. “Hopefully it will be completed before Exit 14 is finished.”
Long also said she appreciated commissioners and the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Hall area’s transportation planning agency, working “so closely with our community.”