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Weather hampers Braselton road project
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Rainy weather has delayed a private-public effort to revamp roads in the Duncan Corners area of Braselton in South Hall.

Work on tying Friendship Road/Ga. 347 to Spout Springs Road by way of a short four-lane stretch has been completed, except for new striping that will occur once a traffic signal goes up at Spout Springs, said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Improvements at Spout Springs and Thompson Mill Road haven’t started yet.

“Our weather has been so wet that I am scared to give (another) target date for completion,” Pope said. “We thought for sure it would be done by Halloween.”

The DOT is working with Braselton and two private developers, Chateau Corners Development Corp. and Spout Springs Partners, on plans to ease traffic congestion in that area.

The work involves new turn lanes and the installation of traffic lights at Ga. 347 and Spout Springs and at Spout Springs and Thompson Mill.

Duncan Corners used to be a sleepy hamlet, with little traffic and a few homes scattered here and there.

These days, with growth in South Hall and Braselton, the area is covered with stores and new homes, including the massive Reunion subdivision and a Kroger-anchored shopping center. Construction on a Publix-anchored shopping center is under way.

As a result, the area experiences daily traffic bottlenecks.

The Spout Springs-Thompson Mill intersection had been especially tricky as Friendship and Thompson Mill used to join up just feet way from Spout Springs Road.

Now, Friendship Road traffic travels up a four-lane stretch that was built several years ago by Bud Chandler of Chateau Corners Development.

The four-lane road will eventually serve as part of a new four-lane realignment of Ga. 347/Friendship Road between McEver Road in Buford to Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway in Gwinnett County — a two-phase project estimated to cost $127.3 million.

The old part of Friendship that connected with Thompson Mill hasn’t been abandoned, as it now serves local traffic.

Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Dees said there are some sections of road that the DOT needs to deed over for local improvements to happen, an issue that will go before the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

As far as the new traffic signal at the four-lane stretch and Spout Springs, poles have been ordered.

“I’m supposed to be getting the contract for the signal installer (soon), so that’s moving forward,” Dees said.

Developers are mostly footing the bill for the project.

“In my opinion, Braselton is the hottest place in Georgia, period,” Chandler has said. “... When the economy does pick back up, (it) is going to be the spot on the map to do anything.”