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Spout Springs project set for Dec. 6 public airing
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Road meeting

What: Public information meeting on proposed Spout Springs Road widening
When: 5-7 p.m. Dec. 6
Where: Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 6439 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch

The Spout Springs Road widening hit a major setback when voters rejected a 1 percent transportation sales tax on July 31.

But the project is still alive, with Hall County officials planning a public meeting on a proposed alignment for the road. The meeting is set for 5-7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 6439 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch.

“The public will be able to look at the alignment, ask questions and make comments about the project,” said Jody Woodall, Hall County civil engineer.

Hall County’s consultant, STV/Ralph Whitehead Associates, has worked on initial designs for the project, which has been estimated to cost about $50 million and would run between Hog Mountain Road and the Gwinnett County line.

The firm has worked for more than a year on the project, with work involving traffic counts, accident studies and starting to identify potential environmental resources, such as historical and archaeological sites.

Hall County, STV and the Georgia Department of Transportation will have representatives at the Dec. 6 meeting.

Part of what residents can expect to see is “median breaks laid out on the preferred alternate,” Woodall said.

“Proposed right of way will also be shown on the presentations.”

The current schedule shows right-of-way acquisition taking place about March 2015 and construction beginning in September 2018.

“These dates are based on funding being available,” Woodall said. “If funding is not available, the schedule will be revised.”

Spout Springs was one of nine projects Hall County had proposed as part of the transportation tax referendum, which voters thrashed at the polls. The sales tax was unpopular statewide, with only three of 12 regions supporting it.

If it had passed, the project would have been among the first ones built, widened by 2015. Officials have noted that, without the sales tax, the project could be finished by 2030.

According to a DOT website on the sales tax, plans called for the road to be widened to four lanes with a 20-foot median and a 16-foot shoulder containing a 10-foot multiuse path on each side.

Flowery Branch City Manager Bill Andrew is one of those interested in seeing the Spout Springs designs, as the road runs between Hog Mountain and Interstate 985 — a short stretch that’s crowded by commercial development.

Improvements would have to be made on the segment. Otherwise, “you would have a bottleneck,” Andrew said.

“We don’t want to see us becoming a problem. We’d want to work toward a solution,” he said.

Spout Springs runs mainly through residential areas between Hog Mountain Road and Gwinnett County. The road becomes heavily commercial on the Gwinnett end, or in Braselton.

The county has made some temporary improvements to the busy road, which runs past Flowery Branch High and Spout Springs Elementary schools, including adding center turn lanes and a traffic signal at Elizabeth Lane.

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