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What’s pushing earlier start to Martin Road roundabout work in South Hall
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Improvements to Martin Road, particularly a roundabout at Martin and JM Turk Road, could begin sooner than expected. - photo by Scott Rogers

Construction on the roundabout at Martin Road and JM Turk roads in South Hall now could start in late March, sooner than previously expected.

“In order to complete (the project) before the start of the next school year, we plan on starting earlier,” said Ken Rearden, Hall’s public works and utilities director, in an email Wednesday, Feb. 6.

He added that Hall has “a large area outside of the existing roadway we can have the contractor work in while school is in.”

Initially, officials projected work could start in late May, after school is out for the summer.

Rearden updated Martin Road area residents about the project in a Feb. 1 email, also mentioning the earlier start.

He said the project’s schedule is “pending negotiations with property owners and cooperation from second-party utility owners.”

A design engineer for the county is about 80 percent complete with the roundabout’s design, and right of way talks could begin soon with property owners, Rearden said.

The email says contractors can begin the project “without much disruption to traffic.” But during the summer, motorists could see traffic delays.

“Our intent is to not detour traffic during this construction, but have lane closures and flagmen directing traffic safely,” the email states.

“Weather permitting, this project is expected to be complete before the start of the 2019-20 school year.”

Construction of the roundabout, which will be near Hall County Schools’ Martin Technology Academy of Math and Science, was recommended in a Martin Road transportation study completed in early 2018.

The road fix “would be effective in solving the geometric problems at this intersection, as well as improving the overall safety,” states a report submitted to Hall County by Newnan-based Wilburn Engineering.

Hall County agreed and pursued the improvement, along with multi-way stop signs on Martin Road in an overall move to slow traffic on the busy road.

“Rumble” strips on the road, or pavement bumps that help slow traffic before the stop signs, will stay in place, Rearden also said in his email.

“Hall County’s traffic engineer has reviewed the crash and citation data, and is recommending the current rumble strips remain in place in the interest of public safety.”

Martin Road could pick up more traffic as a new interchange off Interstate 985 is completed later this year. Exit 14 will flow traffic onto Martin Road and H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway.