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Plans for Kelly Mill unveiled
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Forsyth County News

Miss the meeting?

• The plans for widening Kelly Mill Road can be viewed on the engineering department page of Forsyth County’s Web site.  Click here to view the planing pages

Click here to download a comment form.

Comment forms can be e-mailed to tlallen@forsythco.com or mailed to Forsyth County Department of Engineering, 110 E. Main St., Suite 120, Cumming, GA 30040.

Bob Charles travels Kelly Mill Road often.

Studying a large map, Charles echoed a common concern at Tuesday night’s open house on the proposed widening of the road west of Cumming.

“I thought they were going to straighten out these curves,” he said.

Curves aside, most of Forsyth County’s planned improvements to the road drew positive feedback.

The overall project will widen Kelly Mill in spots between Bethelview and Post roads and includes a middle turn lane at each end of the section.

A traffic light will go up outside the student entrance to West Forsyth High School, curbs and sidewalks will be installed and crosswalks will be added at the intersection with Post Road.

Arcadis engineering company will handle the project design and construction at an estimated cost of about $3.5 million. The project will be funded by revenue from the county’s 1-cent sales tax.

Matt McDow, a representative for Arcadis, said most visitors expressed concern about the large S-curve north of the high school.

The company couldn’t straighten it out without cutting through property, but it will “smooth out” the curve and fix the banking of the road, he said.

“Overall, it’s been pretty positive responses,” McDow said. “People are excited about the sidewalks.”

Steve Reynolds lives and works right after the big S-curve on the road. He compared crossing the road to a racetrack, with people flying around the turn.

Slight widening in some areas should improve the quality and safety of the road, he said.

While construction likely will cause some minor inconvenience, Reynolds said it ultimately could “make walking down the road easier.”

The county plans to start the project by year’s end, said Tim Allen, assistant director of the county engineering department.

Construction could take about a year to complete under traffic, possibly finishing in November or December 2011.

Increased traffic is one reason the road has been targeted for improvements.

Grace Jackson has lived on Kelly Mill since 1948.

“There didn’t used to be that much traffic,” she said, recalling that the road was not paved until the early 1960s.

A current traffic estimate shows that about 8,380 vehicles travel the road daily, with that volume predicted to increase to 11,800 by 2032.

Commissioner Jim Harrell, in whose district the work would occur, attended the open house.

“There will be some definite improvements from a safety issue,” he said.

The open house ended early with mostly positive feedback.

“There weren’t many people that showed up for the meeting,” Allen said. “I was surprised that this is the smallest number of folks we’ve had in a long time.”

By the end of the night, just five people had left written statements. Comments will be accepted until Feb. 19.