Headaches continue to bubble up from the Spout Springs Road widening project.
Ground won’t be broken for another year in the first phase of the project to widen the South Hall road to four lanes from Hog Mountain Road to Thompson Mill Road in Braselton, but worry from communities along the way continue to surface as the county buys up property in the right of way for the road.
The county expects to finish buying more than 150 properties for the right of way this spring, and construction on the first phase, Hog Mountain Road to Union Circle, should begin by summer of next year.
But before then, the county will need to quell the fears of Sterling on the Lake residents, who turned out on Monday, April 2, to the South Hall Republican Club to talk with two members of the Hall County Board of Commissioners: Chairman Richard Higgins and Commissioner Kathy Cooper, who represents South Hall.
The issue for Sterling is Capitola Farm Road, which runs straight through the subdivision from Hog Mountain Road to Spout Springs Road. The outlet of Capitola Farm Road onto Spout Springs sits only a short distance north from the main entrance to the subdivision at Lake Sterling Boulevard.
Traffic is building on Capitola Farm as 1,100 homes have been constructed of the subdivision’s almost 2,000 homes planned.
“One of the big issues that a lot of Sterling residents have is: Can we put a light at Capitola?” asked Wally Stiving, a Sterling resident, at the South Hall GOP meeting.
It’s not likely, according to Cooper.
Lake Sterling Boulevard got its own traffic light in August 2016, and the proximity of that road to Capitola Farm Road makes it unlikely that a traffic light could be added to the second road, she said, according to standards set by the Department of Transportation.
In the audience on Monday was Gina Pilcher, a resident of the Martin Road area who was deeply involved in lowering the speed limit and adding stop signs at several of its intersections. She told residents of Sterling about her own experience making a case to the county and encouraged them to organize early. Cooper also noted that ideas from the neighborhood help county planners, engineers and elected leaders find a compromise on traffic issues.
“When the widening of Spout Springs Road starts, a lot of people will go out that back way (through Capitola Road) to get to Friendship or wherever,” Pilcher said. “Y’all have a perfect opportunity because you’re so large, go ahead and form that group and, like she says, come up with some ideas.”
Ed Asbridge, the outgoing president of the South Hall Republican Club, said on Monday that Sterling residents and Hall County should organize a town hall meeting to discuss the effects of the Spout Springs widening project.
The concern at Capitola Farm Road comes after residents of the Ivy Springs subdivision made their fears public that the Spout Springs Road widening project would make leaving their neighborhood dangerous because of the changes it would require at Ivy Springs Road.