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Planners vote to seek traffic study for fast-growing Highway 365 corridor
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Traffic along Hwy. 365 passes through the intersection at Howard Road Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. With potential traffic issues on the horizon because of the inland port development just north of the area, local road planners voted Tuesday to seek a federally funded traffic study. - photo by Scott Rogers

A traffic study of a growing area between New Holland and the planned inland port in northeast Hall is being pursued by area road planners.

The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Committee, the decision-making arm of the transportation planning agency, voted Tuesday, Feb. 12, to seek federal planning money for the effort, being requested by Gainesville officials.

“There’s been some great things happening up the Ga. 365 corridor … and we really feel a traffic impact study for this area would be very beneficial and forward-thinking,” said Chris Rotalsky, Gainesville’s public works director.

Projected development includes a new 318,000-square-foot plant for Auto Metal Direct, a classic car parts distributor, in Gateway Industrial Centre and the Georgia Ports Authority’s Northeast Georgia Inland Port, projected to open in 2021.

Also in the works off Ga. 365 is Gateway Village, a 522-acre site that could produce up to 2.6 million square feet in industrial and commercial space. And then there’s the newly opened Lanier Technical College off Howard Road and Lanier Tech Drive.

Getting the federal money would require a 20 percent match, and the city “has the funds necessary,” Rotalsky said in a Feb. 5 memo to Policy Committee members, which comprises top area elected officials.

“The traffic generated from new and future developments in the area will affect the traffic flow on (Ga.) 365, Jesse Jewell Parkway and the connecting state and local streets,” he wrote.

A study “would explore existing roadway networks, model current and future traffic demands, recommend potential improvements along with estimated construction costs and provide detail on new facilities needed to handle the economic activity this corridor is experiencing,” Rotalsky said.

Regional events