A Georgia Department of Transportation project team has identified the potential need for a nearly four-mile-long detour during construction of a grade-separated, diamond interchange on SR 316 at Jimmy Daniell Road.
Traffic on Jimmy Daniell Road wanting to access westbound SR 316 could be required to travel north on Jimmy Daniell Road and then New Jimmy Daniel Road, westbound on Atlanta Highway, and then southbound on U.S. 78 to reach SR 316.
All west-bound access to SR 316 at Jimmy Daniell Road would be closed for a maximum of 45 days during construction.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) held a virtual question and answer session on SR 316 improvements in June of 22, but the potential detour on Jimmy Daniell Road was not presented in that session.
GDOT has announced that it is accepting comments about the detour until Nov. 15.
Separately, the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, in partnership with GDOT, is seeking public input on transit needs, opportunities, and possible future transit system investments across the 12 counties making up the Northeast Georgia Region.
Oconee County is at the center of that region, which is one of 12 such groupings in the state.
Input On Detour Sought
Those interested in commenting on the proposed Jimmy Daniell Road detour are directed by GDOT to a Virtual Meeting Room.
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That site includes a map of the detour, a project design statement from 2022, a concept plan for the interchange, and a project visualization of the interchange.
The site also includes a link to a comment page, though it is somewhat hidden.
The Virtual Meeting Room provides no information about the detour other than the map.
A small amount of information about the detour is sprinkled about on a separate web page about the Jimmy Daniell Road interchange.
In a section labeled Proposed Detour, the map is presented followed by this description of the detour:
“Additional public outreach is being conducted at this time because the potential need for a detour during construction was identified. Traffic from Jimmy Daniel Road entering SR 8/SR 316/US 29 westbound may be detoured for a maximum of 45 days during construction. The posted detour would be approximately 3.84 miles long.”
At the meeting on Jimmy Daniell Road, Virgil Langford Road, and Oconee Connector interchanges with SR 316 in June of 2022, the only potential detour identified was at the Connector.
Eastbound traffic on SR 316 trying to exit onto the Oconee Connector most likely will be required to detour around the intersection for 45 days at some point after reconstruction of that intersection gets underway.
Jimmy Daniell Road Interchange
According to current plans, the grade-separated diamond interchange on SR 316 at Jimmy Daniell Road will include a single-lane roundabout at the northern ramp terminal on Jimmy Daniell Road and another single-lane roundabout at the southern ramp terminal on that road.
The Jimmy Daniell Road SR 316 interchange project is part of a series of roadway improvement projects along SR 316 from Gwinnett County to Athens-Clarke County.
The Jimmy Daniell Road interchange project will be delivered as a Design-Build project and packaged as a bundle with construction of a flyover of Virgil Langford Road at SR 316 and a full multi-grade interchange at the Oconee Connector.
According to GDOT, the project team is continuing to refine the design concept for this bundle of projects, evaluate environmental effects, conduct traffic analysis, and identify costing plans.
The three-interchange project is expected to be awarded to a Design-Build team in 2024.
(GDOT lists the road as Jimmy Daniel, but Oconee County signage shows the road as Jimmy Daniell, reflecting the actual spelling of the family name. New Jimmy Daniel Road in Athens-Clarke County uses that spelling.)
The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC) is developing a Transit Development Plan for the 12 counties in the Northeast Georgia Region.
The first public meeting of local leaders to discuss the plan took place on Oct. 11 at the NEGRC Office in Athens-Clarke County. Oconee County Commissioner Amrey Harden attended the meeting.
NEGRC is seeking survey input on transit interests and needs, with the deadline for offering comment of Nov. 10.
The site indicates it is possible to learn about the Transit Development Plan through a link, but that link leads only to the survey.
According to the project web site, seven transit operators currently provide transit in the region.
Athens Transit System provides urban fixed route transit within the urban core and countywide demand response transit service outside that area.
The University of Georgia provides fixed route and paratransit services to students and staff.
Elbert, Greene, Jackson, and Morgan County systems provide demand response transit service within their respective counties, and Social Circle Transit provides demand response transit service within the Social Circle city limits.