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Two Martin Road improvements may get Hall commission vote this week
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Hall County commissioners approved a stop sign at the intersection of Martin Road and Quailwood Drive on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. - photo by Jeff Gill

A roundabout and stop signs may be in Martin Road’s future.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners is poised to vote Thursday, Feb. 22, to pursue an $800,000 grant paying for the roundabout at JM Turk Road.

And it likely will give staff the go-ahead to put up the signs at Quailwood Drive and Martin Trail/Martins Crossing, judging by commissioners’ discussion at their work session Monday, Feb. 19.

Hall traffic engineer Scott Puckett said last week during a public meeting concerning improvements on the South Hall road that the signs could be up as early as March.

As far as the roundabout, the county needs “to secure funding,” Ken Rearden, Hall’s public works and public utilities director, has said.

Hall could learn by late summer whether the grant has been approved, he said.

And then, “we’re looking at a little over a year, once we secure funding, to hopefully have your roundabout in place,” Rearden said.

The commission was appreciated by a couple of residents at the work session for its efforts so far.

“I just want to thank you for understanding our plight in this situation,” said Gina Pilcher, one of the most vocal Martin residents.

The community has been concerned about the traffic impacts of a new Interstate 985 interchange that would connect Martin Road on the east side of I-985 to H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway on the west side. The project is set for completion in 2019.

An original plan to widen Martin Road from two lanes to four was eventually ditched for smaller improvements, including the roundabout and stop signs.

A study commissioned by Hall County didn’t suggest stop signs, but it recommended the roundabout and reducing the speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph from east of JM Turk Road to Winder Highway/Ga. 53 and from 45 mph to 35 mph from Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 to east of JM Turk.

Residents insisted on the stop signs at a Feb. 13 public meeting at Mulberry Creek Community Center on JM Turk Road. County commissioners quickly bought in and said they would vote on the matter this week.

“We have some passionate folks who live on Martin Road,” Commissioner Billy Powell said Monday, Feb. 19. “It was fun to be part of the process and watch passionate interaction. Thank y’all again.”

Commissioner Scott Gibbs said his biggest complaint as an elected official is hearing residents grumble “and never get involved.”

“If you don’t get involved and you don’t tell us what you want, I don’t know what you want,” he said. “While we may disagree, we try to make it a working solution for everybody.”