After more than a decade in the dirt, Hall County is doubling up on efforts to pave Baker Road in East Hall.
Almost two miles of Baker Road remains unpaved, and as a connector between Ga. 60 and Athens Highway, which is in the process of expanding to a four-lane divided highway, the project is being put back into focus by the county.
On Thursday, April 12, the Hall County Board of Commissioners signed of on a $188,000 project with engineering firm Rochester and Associates to survey the road and draw up plans to pave it — which will require the county to buy up right of way.
"There are some holdouts of the property owners, so we have engaged Rochester and Associates to help us do the surveys,” said Hall County Public Works and Utilities Director Ken Rearden. “If you’ve been out there, there’s banks, steep slopes and embankments. We can’t just willy-nilly go out there and pave the road … without any engineering.”
The contract will last for six months and is funded by special purpose local option sales tax dollars.
Rearden said the entire project will be a “very difficult” amount of work because of the layout of the road and likely will cost more than $1 million.
“This one really needs some detailed engineering work,” he said. “In the right of way we have 30 feet in some places, and we need 60 feet for a section with ditches on it.”
The county would need to widen the road, which is paved on the ends connecting to Athens Highway and Ga. 60 south of Gainesville.
“There’s going to be more traffic coming in and out of (Athens Highway),” Rearden said. “The commission has asked us to move forward with trying to get Baker Road paved because we’ve been working on it for so long.”
Baker Road connects to Ga. 60 near Poplar Springs Road and to Athens Highway at Eskimo Cold Storage.