A pair of prominent local road projects are closer to becoming a reality.
A Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank grant of $793,416 will go toward helping Gainesville get started on putting in a traffic light at the intersection of Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 and Oak Tree Drive/Ga. 60 Connector and realigning Oak Tree Drive. Mayor Danny Dunagan said the money should fund the engineering and feasibility study for the project, which replaced a much-discussed potential Enota bypass.
“Gainesville has to have a bypass. We can’t keep relying on Green Street as a route through Gainesville,” Dunagan said. “It needs relief. It grows more every day, and more and more cars are on the road — and more and more traffic problems.”
Dunagan had more good news for drivers, too. He said repaving of Green Street and E.E. Butler Parkway should happen this summer, with that work likely beginning in July.
A study is underway to determine what’s underneath Green Street and what can be done to help traffic.
Another grant from the infrastructure bank of $2 million completes the necessary funding for a bridge along Tumbling Creek Road that would span railroad tracks. Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs said the Georgia Department of Transportation previously agreed to fund $1 million of the project, with Hall County chipping in $400,000, Gainesville $200,000 and Oakwood $50,000.
The DOT had ordered the closing of a railroad crossing at the same area of Tumbling Creek Road in late 2014 out of safety concerns.
Gibbs said the Tumbling Creek Road bridge is important because it serves as a backup for emergency vehicles if Old Oakwood Road or Atlanta Highway is shut down, giving them another option without having to go 4 or 5 miles out of the way.
The bridge would let drivers travel between Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway near Chicopee Woods Golf Course and Old Oakwood Road.
Old Oakwood Road leads to Mundy Mill Road to the south and Mountain View Road to the north.
The bridge would be near the new Mundy Mill elementary school being built by Gainesville City Schools.
Gibbs said he’s grateful the state helped round out the funding for the project.
“We were glad that they saw the importance of it,” Gibbs said.