Area transportation policymakers have put the brakes on a new Cleveland Highway/U.S. 129 bridge over the Chattahoochee River until issues can be worked out about the proposed route.
The new bridge “would have a whole lot less impact on citizens if it (was built) on the left-hand side” of the current structure, also known as Longstreet Bridge, instead of right of the bridge heading north as now proposed, Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan said.
“And it would be cheaper because it won’t impact anyone,” he said, speaking at the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Committee meeting Tuesday at Oakwood City Hall.
“The reason it’s not going on the left-hand side is there’s supposedly an (Army Corps of Engineers) park there that’s no longer used,” Dunagan said.
The mayor said he has spoken to Tim Rainey, the corps’ operations project manager at Lake Lanier, who said the corps “could care less about that park.”
Rainey couldn’t be reached for comment.
The committee ended up directing MPO staff to set up a meeting with the Georgia Department of Transportation and Gainesville and Hall County officials to further discuss the $13.2 million project in North Hall County.
The DOT, which is readying to replace other aging bridges on Lanier, plans to start buying right of way for the project this year, officials have said.
“We’ll try to have a resolution very quickly,” MPO Director Srikanth Yamala said.