The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce held its annual transportation forum Tuesday to address Hall County’s continued growth. The transportation forum gave updates on several road projects that will be impacting Hall County within the next year.
With the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 2021 regional transportation plan predicting that Hall County’s population will increase by 46 percent by 2050, mitigating traffic for the community is a major priority of the Georgia Department of Transportation and Hall County.
Eliminating the Howard Road and Lanier Tech Drive traffic signal
The Georgia Department of Transportation announced that they will remove the traffic signal between Howard Road and Lanier Tech Drive. Motorists will only be able to make right turns on and off the interstate, which would eliminate the median.
Instead, a bridge will be constructed over Ga. 365 with a northern and southern roundabout on each side.
The project’s design has changed several times according to Georgia Department of Transportation District 1 transportation engineer Kelvin Mullins.
“We ran into some design challenges with the other design we had, and had to back up and see what we could do,” Mullins said. “We had seven or eight different alternatives and this is the one we're moving forward with. It looks a little similar to what we had before.”
There is no estimation of when construction will start due to the project’s design setbacks.
Mullins said the roundabouts will let motorists cross the intersection without having to wait at the traffic signal.
Widening at Spout Springs Road
Hall County and the Georgia Department of Transportation partnered to widen Spout Springs Road in two different phases. The widened road will be a four-lane divided highway with multi-use paths on each side.
Construction for phase one of the project started in 2019 and is still underway. This phase runs between Hog Mountain Road to Union Circle. Phase two construction will run between Union Circle to Thompson Mill Road.
The Georgia Department of Transportation provided $30 million for the construction of the project. Hall County’s right-of-way acquisition began in 2021 and cost $26.8 million.
The project’s estimated completion date is fall 2023.
Four-lane road at Sardis Connector
A four-lane road from the Highway 60 and Mount Vernon intersection will connect to the Sardis Road and Chestatee Road intersection.
According to nearby resident Marc Eggers, this project was proposed in the early 2000s. He thinks that the connecting road will reduce school traffic.
“We've got Chestatee High School, Chestatee Middle School and Sardis Elementary,” Eggers said in a 2022 transportation forum video produced by Hall County. “At certain times of the day, it gets crazy around here. I see this eliminating a lot of that congestion during those prime hours.”
So far, the county has acquired 126 out of 159 right-of-way parcels for the project. Hall County expects to obtain the remaining parcels by the end of the year and start construction in 2023. Construction should be complete by 2025.
Redesign of Green Street
The City of Gainesville is paying for a redesign of Green Street and the state will handle construction costs. The city will put a median in the middle of the street. There could also be a ban on left turns.
Even though Green Street is a short road, city manager Bryan Lackey said that it will be the most expensive out of all the design projects.
“We're going to go parcel by parcel,” Lackey said.
He did not give the price of the project or when it may be complete but warned that it could take a long time.