A roundabout or some other improvement could be on the horizon for a northwest Hall County intersection that’s especially busy before and after school.
The Board of Commissioners is set to vote Thursday on whether to hire someone to look at possible fixes for the four-way stop at Sardis and Ledan roads.
“During peak hours, when school (is in session), the intersection really gets congested,” said Jody Woodall, road projects manager.
The two-lane roads meet at a mostly rural crossing, but they lead to busy residential areas and main traffic arteries, including Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 and Dawsonville Highway/Ga. 53.
And they also feed into Chestatee High School and Sardis Enrichment School, which are off Sardis, and Chestatee Academy, off nearby Fran Mar Drive.
Chestatee High Principal Suzanne Jarrard said she hadn’t heard about the potential project, but she said congestion in the area during peak hours has seemed to increase over the past couple of years.
“That would definitely help us,” Jarrard said of the possible roundabout.
Jewel Armour, executive director of operations for the Hall County school system, also said he wasn’t aware of the county’s plans.
“We do have several buses that use the intersection,” he said. “I am sure that the traffic there causes slight delays for buses. However, I'm unfamiliar as to how the changes will affect traffic.”
He added: “Delays are common at practically any of our schools during start and dismissal times.”
Any fix wouldn’t be immediate. The commission’s vote on whether to hire Duluth-based firm Moreland Altobelli Associates calls for spending $55,092 just to look at options, as well as costs and traffic impacts. That work would be paid for from the county’s special purpose local option sales tax revenue.
“With that (intersection) being on the corridor for the Sardis Connector, eventually it will be corrected with a (traffic signal),” Woodall said. “This is a short-term project just to ease congestion until the larger project (is done).”
One option is to build part of the Sardis Connector at the intersection and have it connect to the larger project when it takes place, Woodall said.
Government officials and road planners have talked for years about the Sardis project, a new four-lane road that would carry traffic from Ga. 53 in West Hall to Ga. 60 in North Hall.
Assistant Metro Editor Clark Leonard contributed to this report.