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McEver intersection to get traffic light, turn lanes
Hall County has begun improving McEver Road at Chamblee Road in West Hall County, one of a series of long-planned intersection improvements along the busy corridor. - photo by SARA GUEVARA


Jody Woodall, a civil engineer in Hall’s Public Works Department, talks about improvements at McEver and Chamblee roads in West Hall.

OAKWOOD — The last in a string of key intersections on McEver Road is getting a traffic light, with other improvements being thrown in for good measure.

The county is working to add lanes and eventually a traffic signal at Chamblee Road, just north of West Hall Middle and West Hall High schools, with crews busy at the intersection this week.

The work is being done as part of a larger improvement effort, targeting certain intersections that stretch between Stephens Road to the north and Gaines Ferry Road to the south.

The county has teamed with the Georgia Department of Transportation on the effort, but the DOT has delayed involvement because of financial woes.

"What we’re looking at is taking the six intersections, prioritizing (work at) them and trying to do some of them with local funds and repackaging it back to (the DOT)," said Jody Woodall, a civil engineer with the county Public Works Department.

The DOT "has told us it is easier to come up with a few million (dollars) here and few million there to do a smaller project than to do 10 or 12 million for a larger project."

With the county having done a signal study at Chamblee, and justifying the need for a light, "that project was a priority for us," Woodall said.

"What we’re doing now is a small widening ... that would allow for left-turn lanes northbound and southbound, and then installing the traffic signal," he said.

Most of the widening work should be finished this week, and the signal should be up and running within about two months, Woodall said.

Final paving and striping will take place when the signal is installed, he added.

The remaining crossings on the McEver stretch — including Flat Creek, Jim Crow and Lights Ferry roads — have traffic signals.

"The projects on those would be installing left-turn lanes and right-turn lanes on all the approaches and upgrading the signal equipment if needed," Woodall said.

Earlier this year, Oakwood installed a signal on McEver at H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway and the entrance to Oakwood South Industrial Park.

The improvements at Chamblee Road are costing about $275,000, with funding coming from the county’s 1 cent sales tax program.

Other work along the road also would be paid from the sales-tax program, Woodall said.

"We’ll probably do one or two more (projects) ... and then see what we can get worked out with (the DOT)," he added.

Teri Pope, a spokeswoman for the DOT’s Gainesville district, said in the overall project, the county is responsible for paying for engineering and acquiring right of way.

"As (the county) progresses in (the work), we will seek funding for construction and a year (to complete) that work," she said.

In other road news this week, the DOT announced it has received $32 million, 80 percent from the Federal Highway Administration and 20 percent from the state gas tax, to use toward buying right of way for widening Friendship Road from Interstate 985 to Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway in South Hall.

"We still have 196 parcels to purchase," Pope said.

Construction had been set to start in December 2010, but delays in right of way acquisition likely will postpone the project. The DOT doesn’t have a revised date for construction, Pope said.

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