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Oakwood study suggests nearly $2 million in road improvements
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A new right-in/right-out entrance and exit into Sam’s Club and Walmart off Thurmon Tanner Parkway in Oakwood is in the works. That could help relieve what is now really bad traffic congestion on Mundy Mill Road in front of Sam’s, Walmart and the University of North Georgia. - photo by Scott Rogers

Nearly $2 million in Oakwood road improvements were suggested by a consultant at a roads planning meeting Tuesday, July 17.

The key projects discussed were a roundabout on Main Street near downtown and a new entrance to Walmart/Sam’s Club off Thurmon Tanner Parkway. 

Also, CHA Consulting Inc. recommended extending McClure Drive to McBrayer Road at Chamblee Road and several intersection improvements scattered about the South Hall city.

The findings, presented at a meeting of the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Hall area’s lead roads planning agency, are part of a study Oakwood has pursued to help solve local traffic issues.

The Walmart entrance project has been long discussed, as traffic frequently bunches up at the main entrance off Mundy Mill Road across from the University of North Georgia’s ever-growing Gainesville campus.

“This is in an ongoing coordination with the property owners,” said Chris Edmondson, CHA project manager.

In March, Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said the city had talked with Walmart about the project and “they are looking at this option with their engineer.”

“We believe this would be a win-win for all — better access for Sam’s Club/Walmart and traffic relief on Mundy Mill Road,” Brown said.

CHA didn’t suggest any changes to major intersections, such Interstate 985 at Mundy Mill Road or Thurmon Tanner at Mundy Mill.

Brown said next steps include presenting the study to the MPO’s decision-making Policy Committee, which comprises top area elected officials, and compiling a final report.

“Once that is complete, (the city) will use the study as the basis for developing our city transportation improvement program,” he said.

From there, the city would “seek grants and funding necessary to implement improvements.”

“We’ll use the information to start building up our capital program this fall as a part of our (fiscal) 2019 budget,” which takes effect Jan.1, Brown said.

Oakwood road fixes

Here’s a brief list of improvements as suggested by a consulting firm and estimated costs:

  1. Roundabout on Main Street at Flat Creek Road/Old Oakwood Road: up to $550,000
  2. New entrance into Walmart/Sam’s Club on Thurmon Tanner Parkway: up to $375,000
  3. Extending McClure Drive to McBrayer Road at Chamblee Road: up to $450,000
  4. Intersection improvements on various city streets: up to $570,000

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