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GDOT presents Perimeter Rd. plans
Perimeter Road Extension Pic 1
Jonathan Dills of the Georgia Department of Transportation Office of Right of Way answers citizens’ questions at the open house.

Last week, representatives of the Georgia Department of Transportation held a Public Information Open House at Dawson County High School to lay out their preliminary plans for the extension of Perimeter Road from Highway 9 South to Hwy 53 West.

According to a handout given to citizens at the event, “the project proposes to construct a new roadway to allow traffic travelling along SR 53 to bypass downtown Dawsonville.”

Creating such a bypass has been the subject of much discussion since the late-90s, as many people have discussed the truck traffic through downtown as being dangerous or limiting development.

According to a press release from the City of Dawsonville, “The proposed project would enable the City to achieve a more appealing, walkable, and safe downtown area by eliminating commercial truck traffic. Additionally, it would improve the vital east-west commercial traffic route as trucks would no longer have to traverse the bottleneck created by the current route through downtown and around the historic courthouse.”

Three preliminary designs were presented at the meeting.

All three alternatives are shown in detail below. They all include at least one traffic circle added to Hwy. 9 South and one on Hwy. 53 West, and cross at least one environmentally sensitive area. Two of the alternatives include potential displacements.

According to Katie Strickland, GDOT district communications specialist, “all impacts of the project, including displacements, environmental impacts and project costs, factor into the final decision.”

The City of Dawsonville was also quick to address the multiple concerns that had been raised to them. “It is important to understand regardless of the route determined by GDOT, there will be a negative impact upon some property owners. The City Council seeks to reduce the negative impact of the proposed project to affect the fewest number of residents as is possible. To date, the City Council has not taken any official action to establish a preferred route for the proposed project. The City Council has and will continue to encourage public participation as the proposed project progresses.”

The event handout included a comment card for citizens to give any suggestions or concerns to the project.

Per a GDOT press release, “Public comments are a vital part of the decision-making process. Comments received will have an impact on the selected alternative. Citizens are invited to continue to reach out and comment at the public outreach website link below or via mail at the address below until June 18, 2019. All public comments will be reviewed and responded to 30 days after the comment period closes. Citizens are reminded to leave the requested contact information to receive a response.”

Citizens wishing to leave a comment may do so online, here.

The project is currently in the concept phase, which includes establishing the scope and determining which alternative is the best fit for the project through research and public comment.  Funding for the project is approved for 2030, with land acquisition beginning in 2032 and construction expected to start in 2034.

Perimeter Road Extension Graphic 1

Per the GDOT handout, "East of Flat Creek, Alternative A would turn to the northeast and intersect SR 9 to the north of the Burt’s Crossing I & II subdivisions. A new three-leg, single-lane roundabout is proposed at this intersection. The segment of SR 9 between this new intersection and the existing intersection of SR 9 and JC Burt Road/Perimeter Road would be maintained. A new four-leg, single lane roundabout is proposed at the existing SR 9 and JC Burt Road/Perimeter Road intersection. Finally, the existing shoulders of Perimeter Road east of SR 9 and west of SR 53 would be reconstructed to better accommodate higher traffic volumes."

Perimeter Road Extension Graphic 2

"East of Flat Creek, Alternative B would continue to the southeast and intersect SR 9 to the south of the Burt’s Crossing I & II subdivisions. A new three-leg, single-lane roundabout is proposed at this intersection. The segment of SR 9 between this new intersection and the existing intersection of SR 9 and JC Burt Road/Perimeter Road will be maintained. A new four-leg, single lane roundabout is proposed at the existing SR 9 and JC Burt Road/Perimeter Road intersection. Finally, the existing shoulders of Perimeter Road east of SR 9 and west of SR 53 would be reconstructed to better accommodate higher traffic volumes."

Perimeter Road Extension Graphic 3

"East of Flat Creek, Alternative C would turn to the east and connect to the existing JC Burt Road, bisecting the Burt’s Crossing I & II subdivisions, and continue to the east before intersecting SR 9. A new four-leg, single lane roundabout is proposed at this intersection. Finally, the existing shoulders of Perimeter Road east of SR 9 and west of SR 53 would be reconstructed to better accommodate higher traffic volumes."