Sugarloaf extension work to start soon

LAWRENCEVILLE - Work to link Sugarloaf Parkway to Ga. Highway 316 in Dacula will begin immediately, after commissioners chose a firm to design the first phase of Sugarloaf's extension.

Precision Planning was chosen for the work at a bid of nearly $2.6 million.

The road, commissioners agreed, is imperative to alleviating traffic in the southern Lawrenceville and Grayson areas.

"We've got to get this project moving forward," District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said. "We have to find other avenues to move folks."

But the vote Tuesday, decision makers agreed, does not guarantee the planned second extension to the parkway.

That proposal would extend Sugarloaf from Ga. 316 to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, possibly along the path of the now-defunct Northern Arc.

Commissioners have set aside $8 million to study both phases, and Congress chipped in another $7 million to buy land to prevent development from occurring along the route.

Money has not been set aside for building either stretches.

Land buying policy

Also on Tuesday, commissioners approved a new land acquisition policy to shed some sunlight into the process.

The board OK'd a process that includes giving out some details of land purchases when they come up for discussion behind closed doors.

The final decision on purchases will come during a regular meeting of the board that is open to the public.