Work to replace Thompson Bridge could start as early as 2024
Work to replace Thompson Bridge could start as early as 2024

Replacement of the northbound bridge on Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 over the Chattahoochee River in North Hall is one of several road projects that may be added to the Hall County area’s transportation plans.

Another significant project is an early engineering look at the widening of Interstate 985 in South Hall.

Area roads officials are going through a public review period as they consider adding the projects to Hall’s 20-year to 25-year regional transportation plan.

But they’re also looking at including them in the county’s plan for projects over the next four years.

Preliminary engineering is scheduled in 2020 on the new Ga. 60 bridge, with construction possibly taking place in 2024. Total project costs are estimated at $12.8 million.

The current bridge over the Chattahoochee River was built in 1956, or about the same time other bridges spanning Lake Lanier were built — and that are now being replaced by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The southbound bridge was built in 1992 and “is not in need of replacement at this time,” said Quinton L. Spann of the DOT’s Office of Planning.

Roads officials also are mulling the I-985 engineering study, which would focus on widening the road between Interstate 85 and Mundy Mill Road/Exit 16. The study, which could happen in 2019, is estimated to cost $2.7 million.

Two other projects that could be added to project lists are the widening of Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 from Friendship Road/Ga. 347 in South Hall to Ga. 124 in Barrow County and a new railroad crossing on Tumbling Creek Road in South Hall.

Braselton is teaming up with DOT on improvements to Ga. 211, with the widening being just one of several fixes.

The town, which is in Hall, Barrow, Gwinnett and Jackson counties, also is eyeing construction of roundabouts at the I-85 southbound exit ramp and at the nearby entrance to the Chateau Elan resort, Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Scott has said.

The Ga. 211 widening could take place in 2022.

Work on the new bridge extending Tumbling Creek Road across railroad tracks to Old Oakwood Road at Millside Parkway could start in October or November, Ken Rearden, Hall County public works and public utilities director, has said.

The work should take about a year to finish, he said.

The project is a joint venture between Hall County, Gainesville and Oakwood. The state also is chipping in $2 million.

The public has until July 3 to comment on the new projects, which are being considered by the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, Hall’s lead transportation planning agency.

The MPO’s decision-making Policy Committee, which comprises top elected area officials, is set to vote on the changes Aug. 8.

Changes to short-term plans are being pursued at MPOs statewide at the request of DOT, which is updating statewide plans, DOT district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said.

“Communication and cooperation between GDOT and MPOs is key in the planning and delivery of projects,” she said.