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Oakwood ready to abandon part of road
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A road that used to connect downtown Oakwood to Atlanta Highway in South Hall County is fading more and more into history.

Woodlane Drive, which juts off Allen Street, was overrun by the construction of Interstate 985 and more recently, Thurmon Tanner Parkway, a four-lane road that runs parallel to I-985 and connects Flowery Branch and Oakwood.

And Monday, the Oakwood City Council plans to cast a final vote on whether to abandon an unpaved stretch of the residential street as it dead-ends facing Thurmon Tanner. The meeting is set for 4 p.m. at Oakwood City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle.

“It’s a stretch of road that never really was improved,” City Manager Stan Brown said. “It doesn’t really serve any purpose. If you’re trying to look at it on an aerial (photo), you can’t really pick up where the road was. It’s just been overgrown and is out of use.”

The stretch slated for abandonment now “is cutting through properties that could potentially be developed on Thurmon Tanner,” Brown said.

Residents of the handful of homes on Woodlane Drive won’t be affected by the abandonment, he added.

In other roads business, Oakwood has awarded a repaving contract that would also serve Clermont in North Hall and South Hall County neighbors Flowery Branch and Braselton.

The cities hope to take care of 3.7 miles of streets. Oakwood has the most miles, at 1.39, and the largest project — 1.15 miles of McClure Drive, which juts off Main Street in the downtown area.

The work could begin in May, with the contract requiring work to be finished by July 31.

Some of the projects are ultratiny, such as Flowery Branch repaving 211 feet of downtown’s Church Street.

There are plenty of other projects in highly traveled areas, such as Railroad Avenue and Gainesville Street in Flowery Branch and Spout Springs Road in Braselton.

Clermont wants to improve a quarter-mile stretch of King Street, which runs through downtown and between U.S. 129/Cleveland Highway and Ga. 283/Clermont Highway.

“I think the effort will serve the citizens well,” Brown has said. “You end up with one period of time when you have a lot of construction in the cities, then you’re done for the year.”

Plus, the cities hope to save money by packaging the projects together in a sort of “economy of scale,” Brown said.

Helping to fund the projects are the cities’ shares of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant. The DOT sets aside a portion of gas tax receipts to pay for the grant program, with this year’s amount at about $115 million statewide.

The state program “supplements this effort, but in order to do the work, generally the cities are using sales tax or general fund dollars,” Brown said.

2040 transportation plan starts planning process

An update of Hall County’s long-range transportation plan is poised to start winding through the planning process.

Brian Bolick of Pond & Co., the Norcross firm recently tapped to do the update of the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, is set to speak to the Technical Coordinating Committee, a group of area engineers, planners and other officials, at 10:30 a.m. today at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The committee is part of the structure making up Hall County’s lead transportation planning agency, the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The group typically discusses current and planned transportation projects in the area and passes on recommendations to the MPO’s decision-making policy committee. The MPO also has a Citizens Advisory Committee.

Jeff Gill covers transportation issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: