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Worst-rated roads getting repairs in new county plan
Hall County Government Center

A new Hall County road repair plan would prioritize roads in the worst condition instead of spreading repair cash among all commission districts.

Each year, the county gets funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation to resurface county roads and neighborhood streets. This year, there’s more than $4.6 million available for road work in the upcoming months.

For years, Hall County Public Works has done its best to spread that money among the four commission districts based on the amount of road surface in the area. As the largest area, District 2 would get the largest slice of the cash.

District 1 covers South Hall, District 2 covers West Hall and northwest Hall, District 3 covers North Hall and East Hall and District 4 covers the center of Hall County and the city of Gainesville.

Initially, Public Works had 39 projects spread throughout the county that would be improved with the state funding. The project list included primary roads through neighborhoods and the spur roads connected to them — even if those spur roads weren’t in bad condition, said Public Works Director Ken Rearden.

“If we were in a neighborhood ... we would go ahead and resurface it so it all kind of matched,” Rearden said.

The original plan called for the resurfacing of roads like Shoreland Circle and Hutchins Drive — two neighborhood roads that were in relatively good repair — because they were connected to larger roads also being resurfaced.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners was due to vote on the plan last month, but delayed a vote to work on a new plan.

At their Monday work session, commissioners signaled support for a proposal that would repair 19 roads instead of the 39 identified last month.

The new plan wipes those neighborhood roads and keeps cash going to those in the worst condition. Most of the roads are in Districts 2 and 3. Only one project, Poplar Springs Road, stretches into District 4.

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Hall County's proposed resurfacing program would target roads in the worst condition with $4.6 million in state transportation dollars. Source: Hall County Public Works

Commissioner Jeff Stowe, who represents District 4, said his area lost the most in the new plan, but that he still thought targeting roads in the worst condition was a good idea.

Commissioner Billy Powell, who was skeptical of the new plan when it was first discussed in August, signed on as well, saying he thought it was “a good idea” and that the county should give it a shot at least for next year.

Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

Stephens Road, at 3.2 miles, and Glade Farm Road, at 4 miles, are the largest resurfacing projects in the new proposal. Together, they’ll cost more than $1.5 million.

The roads are both rated at 74 or above out of Public Works’ 100-point scale; the larger the number, the worse condition the road is in.

“From an engineering standpoint, my proposal is going to get the worst-rated roads,” Rearden said.

Commissioners put the updated list of 19 projects on their consent agenda of the 6 p.m. Thursday voting meeting. The consent agenda is a package of items that don’t need individual discussion from commissioners and is usually approved as a whole.

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