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Officials want to study possible North Hall Parkway soon
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A North Hall Parkway could connect Thompson Bridge Road, shown here on April 13, 2018, to Ga. 365. A citizens group wants the idea studied sooner rather than later. - photo by David Barnes

A roads planning group has recommended studying a potential North Hall Parkway in fiscal 2019 — earlier than first proposed — with funding details possibly worked out later.

“Thank you, thank you,” Gainesville resident Anne Chenault said as the measure was approved Tuesday, April 17, by the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Technical Coordinating Committee, a group including local and state transportation officials.

“I just think we really need to move ahead with the planning, and if we get the federal funds (for the study), the local match … seems to be something of a drop in the bucket,” Chenault said.

The study could cost $200,000, with $40,000 from local sources and $160,000 in Federal Highway Administration dollars that trickle through the Georgia Department of Transportation to MPOs statewide.

The Citizens Advisory Committee, a panel within the MPO, is asking that the study be done in fiscal 2019 instead of fiscal 2022. The parkway is an idea that has been floated for years but was revived last year by the group.

The proposed study area would run from Thompson Bridge Road at Mount Vernon Road to Ga. 365 around White Sulphur Road and as far north as Brookton Lula Road and the Clermont area.

“In light of the ever-increasing congestion through the city, GHMPO would like to apply for … funds to conduct a study on the feasibility of a North Hall Parkway bypass,” the agency’s application states. “This project would allow for better movement, increased safety, decreased pollution and better economic competitiveness throughout the region.”

The Technical Coordinating Committee’s recommendation now goes May 8 to the MPO’s Policy Committee, a group of top elected officials making up the agency’s decision-making arm.  A state committee will consider funding requests in September.

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