GAINESVILLE – A pair of design changes to the long-awaited Sardis Road Connector will cost Hall County nearly $275,000.
Hall County Commissioners heard from Public Works Director Srikanth Yamala Tuesday afternoon that adjustments to the 3.55-mile project will include two significant design changes:
- a widening and lengthening at the northernmost portion of the 3.55-mile divided roadway to allow for a safer transition from four lanes down into the existing two lanes of Mt. Vernon Road
- a decision to allow for the existing roundabout at the midway point of the project to be enlarged rather than replaced with a traffic signal.
Securing the right-of-way for the project is Hall County’s responsibility and Yamala said a decision to enhance the northern terminus of the four lane roadway was deemed necessary. That meant acquiring an additional sixteen parcels of right-of-way.
“The original contract with Croy Engineering was approved in November of 2019; at the time, we had identified 143 parcels; as we worked through a few design changes the final number of parcels ended up being 159,” Yamala explained.
Regarding the design change at the Mt. Vernon Road merge, Yamala said, “We had to taper it down to take it a little further into Mt. Vernon than we originally anticipated. Any time you take a four-lane road into a two-lane road you need to make sure it’s safe and effective in terms of how drivers can transition.”
That increase in right-of-way also necessitated design plan changes and that will cost the county $121,700.
A second change in the original project design will allow for the roundabout at Ledan and Sardis Roads to remain and be enlarged from its current one-lane configuration into a two-lane turbo roundabout rather than demolished and replaced with a traffic signal
“When we finalized the initial design GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) was ‘on the fence’ for a (two) lane roundabout, a turbo roundabout,” Yamala told commissioners.
Yamala said keeping the roundabout was important to area residents. “That’s one of the biggest priorities that we heard citizens as a part of our public information open house, that they really enjoy the roundabout. They wanted the county to retain the roundabout.”
Yamala says GDOT decided to go with the turbo roundabout instead of a traffic signal and the redesign cost to the county is $152,862.
District 2 Commissioner Billy Powell said, “The good thing is we can just add on to the existing roundabout. It was supposed to be about three or four feet lower and we’d have to rip it up, so now we can just add on to the one we already got.”
Yamala said the project is progressing as scheduled and he expects Hall County to turn the right-of-way over to GDOT so construction can begin this June.
Final approval by the Hall County Commission to spend SPLOST VII funds on the design changes is expected Thursday evening.