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McEver Road fixes on hold for now
County plans to start seeking bids for improvements
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Repairs are on the way for a largely asphalt-worn 7-mile stretch of McEver Road in South and West Hall County, but patience is required.

The county plans to start seeking bids this week for improvements in an area running from Buford city limits, or between Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway and Gaines Ferry Road, to just north of Radford Road.

But a stretch running farther north, or roughly between Radford Road and Flat Creek Road in Oakwood, is on hold until next summer, or after the 2015-16 school year, said Kenneth Rearden, Hall’s public works director.

Rearden said the county plans to approach Oakwood about an agreement over funding work on McEver, similar to county efforts with Flowery Branch. McEver runs in and out of city limits, including Buford’s, to the county line near Ga. 347, but it turns into a four-lane road just short of Ga. 347.

Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said he’s eager to hear from the county “so we can integrate our plan into theirs.”

“If there’s an opportunity to cooperate, absolutely, we’re all for that. If there’s a price ... a benefit to doing that as a joint project, then, by all means, we would consider that.”

Rearden said the focus for now has been on the Flowery Branch portion of McEver.

“We’re going to wait to put (the Oakwood portion) out for bid in February or March and have it teed up to go at it hard next summer,” he said.

For several years, the county has looked at fixing the heavily traveled two-lane road, which is marked by asphalt cracks along long stretches of pavement. The road serves as a major north-south artery, connecting schools, churches and neighborhoods in the South Hall cities.

Hall County was planning to go out for bids in April on a major rebuilding effort, then changed course.

“The commission is discussing with adjoining cities about participation, as part of the road goes through incorporated city limits of Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Buford,” road projects manager Jody Woodall said at the time.

In July, Flowery Branch City Council approved a $658,587 agreement with Hall County that includes paving Gainesville Street from McEver Road into downtown Flowery Branch and additional paving along McEver in the areas of Gaines Ferry and Radford roads.

But then the Hall County Board of Commissioners postponed a vote on the matter. Commission Clerk Lisa Ritchie said last week a vote could come on or before Sept. 24.

The project is testing the patience of some residents, such as Robin Kopp, who lives off Gaines Ferry Road and is a longtime observer of the project.

“I’ve kind of given up on it, washed my hands of it,” he said. “There are other things in life to worry about other than McEver Road.”

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