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Three Hall roads on states stimulus project list
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Three Hall County roads are included on a list of 135 Georgia Department of Transportation projects that may be funded with federal stimulus money.

On Thursday, the DOT board approved spending about $512 million, which will provide the required 50 percent state match for Phase One of the federal stimulus program.

The funding authorization still needs to be approved by Gov. Sonny Perdue. DOT spokeswoman Erica Fatima said she didn’t know exactly when that will happen.

"But it will be soon, because we’re on a tight timeline," she said. "We have to submit our final documents by early next week."

The projects must be put out for bidding and contracts awarded within the next 120 days.

To be eligible for stimulus funding, road projects had to meet several criteria. They must create or sustain jobs, have a positive impact on Georgia’s economically distressed areas, and be completed within three years.

"Really, anywhere in Georgia qualifies as economically distressed, because our state’s unemployment rate is so high," Fatima said.

And all of the projects had to be "shovel-ready."

"That means they’ve acquired all their right-of-way, they’ve done their environmental studies, and they were just waiting for funding," Fatima said.

The three projects in Hall all involve road resurfacing. They include U.S. 129 from Gillsville Highway to Monroe Drive; Mount Vernon Road from Thompson Bridge Road to Dahlonega Highway; and Ga. 365 from Jesse Jewell Parkway to Lula Road.

Several other projects within the 9th Congressional District have also been proposed for funding, including road paving in Forsyth, Dawson and Habersham counties.