GAINESVILLE - The Gainesville City Council gave unanimous approval Tuesday evening to a request to rename a portion of a road that has garnered much media attention in the past decade: Howard Road.
Howard Road began to find its way into the news as the site of numerous serious crashes - due in part to the fact that it was the first intersection that northbound drivers encounter after I-985 ends and the state highway begins.
In addition, earlier this decade a Race Trac gas station and the J.A. Walters Family YMCA opened at the intersection, bringing with them an increase in traffic volume on the less-than-a-three-quarters-of-a-mile long two-lane road.
In October, 2012, after much urging, the Georgia DOT installed a stop light at the intersection to better control crossing and turning traffic and reduce the number of wrecks.
Then in 2015 Lanier Technical College announced they were leaving their longtime Oakwood location and moving to a new campus, a massive new campus to be constructed at the intersection of 365 and Howard Road.
Lanier Tech’s relocation was the reason for the request made by Rochester and Associates, Inc. on behalf of the school to change the name of the roadway.
Project Manager Brian Rochester said in presenting the request to the city council, “I think that is a great way for us as a community to recognize the importance of Lanier Technical College.”
The portion of the road east of Ga. 365 will now be known as Lanier Tech Drive; the 1400-feet to the west of Ga. 365 (fronting the YMCA) will remain Howard Road.
Lanier Tech President Dr. Ray Perrin told city council members, “I think renaming this section of Howard Road to Lanier Tech Drive will certainly make it easier for people to find the college once the construction is complete.”
Perrin told council members that construction work was on schedule and the school plans to move in between Thanksgiving, 2018 and early January, 2019, with classes to begin almost immediately.