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Kelly Mill commute
Open house on widening is Jan. 19
Kelly Mill Widens 3 es
Cars and a school bus drive along Kelly Mill Road. - photo by Emily Saunders
Improvements to a segment of Kelly Mill Road are in the works.

Forsyth County plans to widen the section between Bethelview and Post roads as part of transportation improvements funded by the 1-cent sales tax.

The public will be able to view the plans for the first time at an open house Jan. 19.

The proposal involves widening lanes, adding left turn lanes and installing sidewalks, gutters and storm drains, said John Cunard, director of the county’s engineering department.

Cunard said the county could be ready to start construction by mid-2011.

The project could take 18 months to two years to complete without closures. The construction bid was awarded in May to Arcadis for $392,000.

“The need for it is current projected traffic volumes that do and will utilize that section of Kelly Mill Road, in addition to the fact that there’s now a high school,” Cunard said. “It provides much needed improvement to those students that utilize that.”

The high school, West Forsyth, is the site of the open house, which will give the public the opportunity to view the plan, comment and ask questions.

Written statements will be accepted until Feb. 19.

Concerns or suggestions from residents help the contractor determine the best possible options for the project, Cunard said.

Most Kelly Mill residents or travelers contacted about the project had not heard about it.

Brian Wells has lived on Kelly Mill Road since 1994. He expressed interest in attending the meeting as a property owner.

“I think that more than the central turn lane, I think that eliminating some of the blind spots, turns ... would probably be more helpful,” he said.

With increased traffic, Wells called improvements “eventually inevitable.” He said he hoped the county would have focused on more heavily traveled areas first.

The owner of Jackson Towing said traffic has worsened along Kelly Mill, but he didn’t see a need for the road project.

“I don’t see it doing any good,” Dwayne Jackson said. “Sounds like a waste of money.”

Linda Grimes has lived atop a hill off the road for seven years. Being far from the road, she felt the construction would not affect her property much and had no plans to attend the meeting.

Grimes said heavy traffic is an issue during rush hour, but felt the proposed improvements wouldn’t do much to alleviate it.