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Road plans in South Hall, Gwinnett to be unveiled
Public can hear about Atlanta Highway widening on June 11
Widening of this stretch of Atlanta Highway through Rest Haven from Friendship Road to Sawnee Avenue in Buford is the subject of a public hearing June 11 in Buford. - photo by Tom Reed

The public will get a glimpse in June at a proposed widening of a portion of Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway in South Hall and Gwinnett County.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has scheduled an informational open house for 4-7 p.m. June 11 at Buford City Hall, 2300 Buford Highway.

Plans are to widen a two-lane, 1«-mile stretch of Atlanta Highway between Sawnee Avenue in Gwinnett and Friendship Road in Hall to four lanes.

The new road would feature a 20-foot raised median, curbs and gutters, and 5-foot sidewalks on both sides. The existing road has several left- and right-turn lanes at intersections and shoulders.

Visitors to the open house will be able to look at maps of the route, ask questions of DOT officials and submit comments with the help of a court reporter. No formal presentation is planned.

The public will see a "rough draft" of the project, said Teri Pope, a DOT spokeswoman.

"We want to get community input so it can be enveloped into the project from the beginning," she said.

Written statements also will be accepted until June 22 and can be mailed to Glenn Bowman, P.E., State Environmental/Location Engineer, 3993 Aviation Circle, Atlanta, GA 30336-1593.

Displays at the open house will be available for review until June 22 at the DOT District One office at 2505 Athens Highway in Gainesville.

Buford is using its Gwinnett share of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue to pay for engineering, right-of-way acquisition and possibly construction, said City Manager Bryan B. Kerlin.

"We’re also partnering with Rest Haven and using some of their Gwinnett SPLOST dollars as well, for the engineering side," he added.

Rest Haven Mayor Kenneth Waycaster couldn’t be reached for comment.

Construction "is not funded at this point, nor is the balance of right-of-way, as we see it," Kerlin said. "We’re just trying to move forward in anticipation of the dollars becoming available."

The project is estimated to cost $25 million, he added.

Buford Highway is a four-lane road up to Sawnee Avenue. Ga. 13 doesn’t widen again to four lanes until it approaches Winder Highway in Oakwood, about 10 miles.

"There’s also (Interstate) 985 and Peachtree Industrial (Boulevard)," Kerlin said of neighboring busy roadways, "and there’s this one piece (of Ga. 13) where we’re trying to fill the gap."

"... We’re trying to provide some connectivity and eliminate the bottleneck" between Friendship Road and the city, he added. "We think it (would be) a nice addition to the transportation infrastructure, given the (Friendship Road) work."

There are plans to widen Friendship Road, with construction of the segment between Ga. 211 and I-985 set to start in 2010-11 and construction of the segment between I-985 and McEver Road to start in 2011-12, said Srikanth Yamala, transportation planning manager for the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The overall project is expected to cost $118 million.