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When work may start on Martin Road roundabout in South Hall
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Work could start in late May on a roundabout at Martin and JM Turk roads in South Hall. - photo by Jeff Gill

Construction on the roundabout at Martin Road and JM Turk roads in South Hall could begin in late May, after school is out for the summer.

“We are currently in the design phase,” Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said in a recent email.

Right of way acquisition plans are expected by mid-January “so we can start that process,” she said. “The plan is to bid out the project in April.”

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 stop signs on Martin Road in an overall move to slow traffic on the busy road.

Martin connects Falcon Parkway/Ga. 13 to Winder Highway/Ga. 53, and it will become H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway at a new interchange, Exit 14, being built off Interstate 985. The interchange is set for completion in 2019.

In spring 2018, Hall County officials learned they had gotten $640,000 from the state for roundabout.

“The project will improve safety by addressing vertical and horizontal curvature issues, slowing traffic and mitigating truck traffic, which is likely to increase with the addition of a new exit off I-985,” said a press release from Gov. Nathan Deal’s office at the time.

Darlene Long, chairwoman of Martin Road Stakeholders, a citizens group tracking the road improvements, said at the time her group was pleased the roundabout was being funded.

“This will discourage freight truck traffic onto Martin Road and also help the communities on JM Turk Road with this dangerous intersection,” she said. “Hopefully it will be completed before Exit 14 is finished.”

More changes are coming to Martin Road as part of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s interchange project.

Plans call for widening of Martin from two to four lanes with a raised 20-foot median from Falcon Parkway to the school.

As a result, left turns out of Martin Technology Academy may not be allowed, “which wouldn’t be a bad thing to do already,” Hall Schools Superintendent Will Schofield has said. “I welcome that. We do that at some of our schools, where we only allow right turns during drop-off and pickup.”