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Officials to request traffic help at stadium

DULUTH - Members of the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau board will begin lobbying officials for help with traffic to the Gwinnett Braves baseball stadium.

"That stadium is going to have such positive aspects to it," Chamber of Commerce President Jim Maran, a board member, said. "I think the traffic issue can cause a problem."

The tourism board Chairman Richard Tucker said he would speak to the county's representative on the State Transportation Board for help moving up a planned project to widen Ga. Highway 20 in front of the stadium, which will be between Rock Springs Road and Old Peachtree Road.

During a meeting Tuesday at the Sugarloaf Country Club, GCVB Manager Preston Williams said officials considered all the traffic impacts during a Development of Regional Impact review, and plans were approved by the Atlanta Regional Commission. But Maran said he was worried about the traffic that stall on Interstate 85 at the Mall of Georgia exit.

"You can't get up that ramp today on a Saturday or a Sunday," he said. "I wonder if we should start politicking."

Williams said construction of the 10,000-seat stadium is a few weeks ahead of schedule and concrete work will begin in the coming weeks. The Triple-A Gwinnett Braves are scheduled to begin play in April.