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Traffic light signals hope to busy Duncan Corners intersection

At long last, a traffic light at Duncan Corners.

The intersection, once surrounded by open land, has grown into a busy Braselton residential and commercial area.

In the past few years, motorists have grown accustomed to stopping at four-way stop signs and taking turns to pass through the South Hall intersection, even as long lines formed getting to it.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Monday that a traffic signal will begin operating there on Thursday.

The signal is now in test mode.

“Please slow down through the area and use extra caution until you get familiar with the new signal location,” said Brent Cook, district traffic engineer.

“Typically, five rear-end crashes occur in the first year after a signal is installed because it is new and people aren’t expecting to have to stop.”

The DOT and local law enforcement will monitor the area through the transition.

The long-awaited signal marks the completion of a yearlong project to improve traffic flow in the area, which involved the DOT, the Town of Braselton and area developers.

As part of the project, a traffic light was activated in June at the newly aligned Ga. 347/Friendship Road and Spout Springs Road.

The new traffic signals will be synchronized once both are operational, said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the DOT’s Gainesville-based District 1.

Eventually, the DOT plans to widen Ga. 347 from McEver Road to Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway.

The first phase will involve construction between Interstate 985 and Ga. 211.

“That project is scheduled to begin construction in (2011-12),” District Engineer Todd McDuffie said.
The DOT has closed on 135 parcels of 247 parcels for the project.

“This public-private partnership (in Braselton) allows us to ... get an interim improvement to the area that will improve traffic flow,” McDuffie said.

In other road news, Oakwood Road reopened Monday between Main Street and a stretch of Thurmon Tanner Parkway under construction.

The closing was part of a DOT contractor’s efforts to complete the Thurmon Tanner section between Plainview and Mundy Mill roads. The four-lane segment is set for a Dec. 31 completion.

Once done, Thurmon Tanner will run in its entirety from Atlanta Highway at Interstate 985 near Oakwood to Phil Niekro Boulevard in Flowery Branch.

Also, the DOT has finished repairs on the Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway bridge that crosses from Hall into Forsyth County over Lake Lanier, or Boling Bridge.

The project was set for a Nov. 30 completion, with work being done on consecutive weekends. But the contractor, Massana Construction of Tyrone, had a work plan that “allowed several operations to occur (at the same time),” said Randall Davis, district construction engineer for the DOT.

The project called for repairing damaged horizontal trusses and bridge joints and replacing concrete approach slabs to the bridge.

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