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North Hall road project still on, despite no state aid
Hall County was passed over for a state grant to make improvements at Jim Hood and Odum Smallwood roads near Mount Vernon Exploratory School in North Hall, but the county still plans to move forward with the project.

Passed over for state funding, Hall County still plans to improve an intersection near Mount Vernon Exploratory School in North Hall.

“We are currently in right of way acquisition mode,” Hall spokeswoman Katie Crumley said.

As far as the projected completion, “timing is depending on right of way negotiations,” she added.

Plans call for installing left-turn and right-turn/deceleration lanes at Mount Vernon’s two school entrances and at Odum Smallwood Road, which is just west of the school.

The school is off Jim Hood Road, which leads to Mount Vernon Road. Just north of the Jim Hood-Mount Vernon intersection are North Hall high and middle schools.

“The project will improve intersection and road capacity, reduce rear-end and sideswipe crashes, reduce loss of control … and increase traffic flow of emergency vehicles and other traffic,” Hall’s application for funding states.

Officials particularly note that “heavy school bus and parent pickup and drop-off traffic creates severe congestion … due to lack of dedicated turn lanes on the county roadways.

“Lines of cars, buses and commercial vehicles clog the roadway in the morning and afternoon hours, causing congestion and safety concerns.”

The $1.4 million project, which will be funded through special purpose local option sales tax money, has been in the works for a couple of years, with Hall County Schools joining in the effort.

Hall was hoping to get money from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, a State Road and Tollway Authority-run program that provides grants and loans for transportation projects.

But the project wasn’t on the list when the SRTA Board voted last week to approve funding for 22 transportation infrastructure projects statewide totaling $23.6 million in grants and loans through the bank.

Hall was the only local government to submit an application in this year’s funding round.

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