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Martin Road’s removal from Exit 14 signs gets support from road planners
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Construction is seen Thursday, April 26, 2018, at the future Exit 14 interchange along Interstate 985. - photo by David Barnes

A citizens group’s push to remove Martin Road from Interstate 985 exit signs at the planned Exit 14 picked up steam Tuesday, May 8.

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s decision-making Policy Committee voted to remove the name, leaving only H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway, as long as the sign hasn’t already been made with both road names.

The concern was how to handle costs if that has been done.

If there are any financial costs associated with making a sign with just H.F. Reed, the Policy Committee directed “the individual jurisdictions to make any financial arrangements” with the DOT, said Srikanth Yamala, MPO director and Hall County’s planning director.

The individual jurisdictions would be Flowery Branch and Oakwood.

The $34 million South Hall project, set for completion in fall 2019, calls for a diamond interchange connecting Martin Road at Ga. 13 on the east side of I-985 to H.F. Reed at Thurmon Tanner Parkway on the west side.

Officials talked Tuesday about H.F. Reed basically extending from Thurmon Tanner across the interstate and ending at Ga. 13. The road then would become Martin Road, which ends at Winder Highway/Ga. 53.

Martin Road Stakeholders sent an April 22 email to state and local officials appealing for Martin Road’s removal from the sign.

For residents, the worry has long been truck traffic through a mostly residential neighborhood.

“Martin Road does not need to be extended into a freight corridor, especially since the widening of this residential road will not happen,” said Darlene Long, the group’s chairwoman, in the email. “Martin Road is no longer a part of this freight exit and is a no-truck zone road.”

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