As the Georgia Department of Transportation nears the completion of the new I-985 Exit at Martin Road and H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway, Hall County is preparing for one more project to prepare Martin Road for the expected traffic.
Hall County Public Works Director Ken Rearden said the county is ready to begin construction on a roundabout at the intersection of Martin Road and J.M. Turk Road. He said that work should begin in the coming weeks as the school year ends for the nearby Martin Technology Academy.
Hall County has already lowered the speed limit along Martin Road from 45 miles per hour to 40 and added stop signs at the intersections of Quailwood Drive and Martin Trail in an attempt to preserve the residential nature of the road that connects Falcon Parkway to Winder Highway.
"This is the final stage in getting this done, we're working alongside (GDOT) to get this done in the same timeframe as the GDOT exit," Rearden said.
Recent reports from the Georgia DOT say the exit is expected to be open to traffic by the end of August and Rearden said the county is looking to open the roundabout a couple of weeks earlier with an expected completion date of August 7. That date would also open the road in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.
Rearden said the roundabout should help traffic flow in the intersection and deter tractor-trailer traffic using the new exit from using the two-lane road as a connector to Winder Highway. He said Hall County has had positive experiences with roundabouts over the past several years.
"We put the one at Sardis (Road) and Ledan (Extension) that's made a huge difference at that intersection," Rearden said. "That used to back up to the Chestatee school system."
A temporary alternate road will be built to connect J.M. Turk Road to Martin Road once construction begins. So far, crews have cleared trees and debris and are beginning to relocate utilities.
Rearden said the roundabout will also include sidewalks and street lights.
Click the video above for a look at the work done at the intersection so far and to hear more from Hall County Public Works Director Ken Rearden.