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Spout Springs road fixes nearly finished
Hall County now looking at long-term improvements
A car takes advantage of the new through lane at Spout Springs and Hog Mountain roads in Flowery Branch Thursday. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

FLOWERY BRANCH - Short-term fixes on busy Spout Springs Road in South Hall are nearly complete.

The work was slated to end by now, but late-month rains pinched plans a bit, with paving now expected for the project wrap up in the coming week.

And most of that work is confined to Spout Springs in front of Ivy Springs subdivision and Capitola Farm Road, said Jody Woodall, Hall County road projects manager.

"The weather (this) week didn't allow us to get in there and finish paving," he said. "The (contractor) really worked hard to complete the project on time. I consider completed on time if we go into next week - it's not a big deal."

The county has worked since spring on a series of improvements to Spout Springs, a mostly two-lane strip connecting Flowery Branch and Braselton.

The $1.64 million project, funded by the county's special purpose local option sales tax, involved construction of a center turn lane between Elizabeth Lane and Union Circle and a new traffic light at Elizabeth Lane - work that was mostly completed by the start of the school year.

That section runs in front of Spout Springs Elementary and Flowery Branch High schools.

Crews have worked since then mainly adding right-turn and through lanes at Hog Mountain Road and additional lanes between Ivy Springs and Oak Ridge drives and at Capitola Farm Road, which leads to the 1,000-acre Sterling on the Lake subdivision.

"We have had some people call or even stop by the job when we're out there working and thank us for the improvements," Woodall said. "We've had people with concerns ... as well."

Like with any road project, the work has involved plenty of orange barrels and traffic backups caused by lane closings.

"I have felt slightly inconvenienced while the construction has been going on, but I really don't mind it because I think ultimately it's going to help traffic flow," said Jay Skeggs, vice president of the Ivy Springs Homeowners Association.

He said every school day he drives his son to Davis Middle School on Hog Mountain Road. "I've noticed how much lighter traffic seems to be in that direction," Skeggs said.

Hall County is looking at a more extensive widening project for Spout Springs.

Next month, it could begin the process of getting proposals from companies for the design work, Woodall said.

"It will be a long process. Right now, the funding for the right of way and construction is in long range," he said.

"But we're hoping to get the design going and by the time we get through the design and environmental process, the funding will be available for the right of way and we can move straight into that."

Woodall added, "It's probably going to be in the neighborhood of seven to 10 years before (the project is) completed."

Skeggs, an Ivy Springs resident since April 2009, said he wasn't aware of the long-term plans.

"At least we're thinking ahead to make sure that as traffic does increase and fill up what they've done now, they've got a plan to hopefully alleviate that additional stress," he said.