A roundabout at Ledan and Sardis roads appears to be the favored improvement for the busy northwest Hall County intersection.
The next question is how big is it going to be.
Hall County Board of Commissioners directed staff Thursday night to bring back a design showing two lanes in the circle, one of which would serve as a turn lane between legs of the intersection.
The new design would mean Ledan and Sardis, each now a two-lane road, would become four lanes as they approach the intersection, with the outside right lanes becoming the turn lanes as they go into the circle.
“I’ve seen four lanes use a roundabout very effectively instead of a signal,” Commissioner Jeff Stowe said in suggesting the design change.
“That’s a really good idea,” said Ken Rearden, Hall’s public works and utilities director, adding he could have the firm designing the Sardis Connector to look at the new design. “I think that would be something we’d certainly want to take a look at.”
A single-lane roundabout, which Rearden initially presented at Thursday’s meeting, would cost about $810,000.
A bigger roundabout would mean a bigger cost, but Rearden didn’t have an estimate for that. He said Commissioner Scott Gibbs’ mention of a $1.2 million price tag might be about right.
No longer an option is a proposal to put a four-lane stretch through the area and add a traffic signal — a project that could cost $3.8 million.
Whatever the project, officials are looking for ways to reduce congestion, which is compounded by rush-hour and school traffic.
“I sat through it Monday and it took me 25 minutes to get through the four-way stop sign (there now),” Gibbs said.
The improvement project would be paid for from the county’s special purpose local option sales tax revenue.
One benefit of the $3.8 million project is it would have fit as a link in the Sardis Connector, a much-discussed four-lane road that would connect Dawsonville Highway/Ga. 53 in West Hall to Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 in North Hall.
The $47.5 million project has been overshadowed in recent years by other projects, particularly Spout Springs Road widening, but is still in the works.
The road would travel roughly along Fran Mar Drive, Brackett Drive and Ledan Road. It would travel between Southers Road and Garden Boulevard before ending on Mount Vernon just east of Ga. 60.
The county’s long-range transportation plan, updated last year and revised every four years, says the new road could be open by 2023.