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Road clears way for projects
Taubman, Diversified to build on south end
Reagan opens ribbon cut jd
Joined by other officials and business owners, Commissioners Jim Harrell and Charles Laughinghouse, third and fourth from left, cut the ribbon to officially open a new section of Ronald Reagan Boulevard. - photo by Jim Dean
Officials opened the newest section of Ronald Reagan Boulevard to motorists Tuesday.

The 1.1-mile addition runs from McFarland Parkway to McGinnis Ferry Road and includes a 10-foot wide, multi-use trail.

Construction was funded by 1-cent sales tax revenues.

“We know the transportation improvements are important to the citizens of the county so improvements such as this are certainly a welcome addition,” said Forysth County Commission Chairman Charles Laughinghouse.

The new section of road could “relieve some of the congestion” on nearby Ga. 400, said state Sen. Jack Murphy of Cumming.

In addition, it will eventually connect with the other end of Ronald Reagan Boulevard, which stretches from Buford Highway (Hwy. 20) near Cumming south to just beyond Peachtree Parkway.

The McFarland portion, at the southern-most end of the road, was expedited by planned projects that will bring a shopping center and other developments to the area.

“We are all excited about the projects planned by both Taubman and Diversifed [developers] that will together utilize the total length of this roadway,” Commissioner Jim Harrell said.

Harrell also noted that the new developments could bring much-needed jobs and revenue to the county.

The road was the last step before projects can begin, said Mark Putney, vice president of development for Taubman Inc.

Taubman’s project is billed as an upscale live-work-play community on 164 acres between Union Hill and McFarland roads.

Plans call for hotels, shopping and about 875 residential units.

Just north of the Taubman site, the Diversified Real Estate Group plans to build three 115-room hotels, 530 apartments and office and real estate space at Ga. 400 and McFarland.