The Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization undertook a freight study which began in September 2016 and was completed in December 2017. The primary purposes of the Gainesville-Hall Regional Freight Study were to:
- Assess the current freight infrastructure in Hall County and Jackson County
- Develop a plan based on latest federal, state, and regional policies
- Support the development of a future FAST Act compliant Regional Transportation Plan as it relates to any applicable freight provisions
- Address safety and connectivity based on the proposed new Interchange, Exit 14, near State Route 13/Atlanta Highway
- Recommend areas for improvement, and
- Identify specific freight projects for the region
Several emphasis areas were identified for close examination, including an assessment of the impacts of the Panama Canal and the Port of Savannah deepening on the Gainesville-Hall region. This effort resulted in a Gainesville-Hall Regional Freight Study document that would be reviewed and approved by the GHMPO. The Regional Freight Study was adopted by the GHMPO Policy Committee on February 13, 2018.
Freight Study Plans and Reports
Regional Freight Study Final Report - Final Study document in its entirety.
Executive Summary - 10-page summary of the Regional Freight Study, including project tables and maps.
Project Management Plan - facilitates the daily progress of the study as well as the communication between the CDM Smith team and the GHMPO committees and staff. See the PMP Schedule for further details.
Stakeholder Engagement Plan - identifies who may have an interest in this study as well as outlines when and how stakeholders and the public will be engaged during the study.
Goals and Objectives Report - discusses the specific goals and objectives of the GHMPO Freight Study and how they relate to the local, state, and national goals and objectives regarding freight. In the context of this study, a goal is a broad statement that defines a desired end state once the plan is implemented. An objective is a specific, measurable statement that supports the achievement of a particular goal.
Performance Measures Report - discusses how and why performance measurement is a critical element of accountability for public resources which allow agencies to understand current transportation system conditions and track progress over time. This report includes an introduction to performance measurement as well as exploring possible performance measures by goal area, such as safety, mobility, economic competitiveness, and community.
Assessment of Freight Trends, Opportunities, and Needs Report - presents a thorough assessment of the regional freight trends throughout the GHMPO region and provides a system-level summary of the freight system. This analysis considers available data to understand and evaluate the freight movement conditions. This report includes and discusses regional freight overviews, commodity flow, freight land use designations, safety, and a draft regional freight network.
Priority Freight Projects, Policies, and Funding Sources and Options Report - describes the GHMPO’s vision for freight transportation policy and infrastructure investments within the GHMPO study area. Based on the results from the previous tasks, this report addresses the specific freight projects and policies necessary to keep the GHMPO study area viable in the freight market during the present time and in the future.
Freight Advisory Committee
A Freight Advisory Committee was formed with a mixture of representatives from both the public and private sectors throughout the region. This committee met four times during 2017.
The first meeting was held on Friday, February 10, 2017. This meeting featured introductions, reviewing proposed goals and objectives, and a workshop regarding freight priorities and network conditions. The presentation given at this meeting can be found here, and a summary of the meeting can be found here.
The second meeting was held on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. This meeting covered performance measures and a proposed 3-tier freight network for the region. The presentation given at this meeting can be found here, and a summary of the meeting can be found here.
The third meeting was held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. At this meeting, a draft list of freight projects were presented for feedback. In addition, responses to a previously distributed online survey were reported and discussed. The presentation given can be found here as well as a full meeting summary here.
The fourth and final meeting was held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. This meeting presented all recommended policies and projects that have come from the Regional Freight Study as well as funding opportunities, programs, and recommended next steps. The presentation given can be found here as well as a full meeting summary here.
Martin Road Corridor Analysis
In addition to the Regional Freight Study, CDM Smith looked into the Martin Road area and explored transportation alternatives to improve connectivity between the proposed new interchange at Exit 14 on I-985 and State Route 53/Winder Highway. Per request from the Martin Road area residents, a Martin Road Corridor Study Stakeholder Committee was formed which consisted of 17 local residents who live in the vicinity. A series of three meetings with the stakeholder committee members took place between November 2016 and April 2017 in order to gather the committee's input, develop alternatives with their feedback, and share the results of the study's analysis and output.
The first Martin Road Corridor Study Stakeholder Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Mulberry Creek Community Center. A presentation was given by CDM Smith regarding finding alternatives to Martin Road to improve connectivity between the proposed new interchange on I-985 to SR 53/Winder Highway.
Online Survey #1
A survey was announced during the first meeting regarding alternatives to Martin Road. Results to questions regarding Exit 14 and Martin Road can be found here.
Second MeetingThe second Martin Road Corridor Study Stakeholder Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the Mulberry Creek Community Center from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. This meeting was an open house format with detailed display boards regarding the following:
- Results and Feedback Received from Survey #1
- Draft List of Martin Road Project Alternatives
- Traffic Scenarios for Project Alternatives
Online Survey #2
A second survey was announced during the second meeting regarding alternatives to Martin Road. The survey was closed on February 3, 2017. Survey results can be found here.
Martin Road Stakeholder Committee Work Session
A work session regarding Alternatives 6, 7, and 8 was held with the members of the Martin Road Corridor Study Stakeholder Committee on March 30, 2017. A summary of this work session can be found here.
The third and final Martin Road Corridor Study Stakeholder Committee meeting was held on April 25, 2017 at the Mulberry Creek Community Center. A presentation, which can be found here, recapped the Martin Road Stakeholder Committee Work Session that was held in March and presented the final selected alternative for Martin Road. A vote was held and Alternative 7 was selected as the preferred alternative to the widening of Martin Road.