BRACK: 8 exits proposed for Sugarloaf Parkway Extension as a toll road

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  Pay attention, if you live in North Gwinnett. You should be particularly interested in the recent announcement that the Gwinnett County Commission is considering a toll road to extend Sugarloaf Parkway and make it a full four lane divided median highway.

The accompanying plan shows proposed routing of this project.

It would essentially go from the current end of Sugarloaf Parkway, at Georgia Highway 316 near Dacula, and curve northwesterwardly to end at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard south of Sugar Hill.

The right-of-way for this interstate-like highway would be the alignment of what was once proposed as the Outer Loop.

This four-lane roadway would not have off ramps to most of the roads on its path. Note the anticipated exits from the four-lane highway. They would be at:

Click image to make it larger.

  • Fence Road near Dacula, though this would not be a full interchange.
  • Old Peachtree Road: this would be a full interchange.
  • Interstate 85: This would be perhaps the most important part of this roadway, in that it would allow I-85 traffic to exit and easily move south to eastern parts of Gwinnett, or exit westwardly toward Sugar Hill, Buford and cities outside Gwinnett.
  • Mall Boulevard: another full exit would be a major benefit for Mall of Georgia shoppers.
  • Interstate 985: This would allow only a northbound off ramp from Sugarloaf, plus a southbound ramp to Sugarloaf Parkway.
  • Satellite Boulevard: the road would allow a full interchange to traffic here.
  • Buford Highway: a half interchange to allow westward traffic to exit, or eastward traffic to get onto Sugarloaf.
  • And finally, at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, also a half interchange similar to the Buford Highway exit.

While the proposed roadway would be a boom to many travelers, the roadway would also cut through areas with lots of homes. Some of these subdivisions have been built since initial talk of the Outer Loop was being proposed. We bet some developers didn’t tell the people buying homes along this way about this possibility!

The real benefit to this toll road would be for motorists recognizing the bottleneck that Georgia Highway 20 has become from Sugar Hill to I-85. Anyone west of the Chattahoochee River going northward on Interstate 85, or heading to the Athens area, would love this proposal, and we suspect would gladly pay the relatively small toll to get to this area.  Eastbound motorists crossing the Chattahoochee River would turn south on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, and travel the short distance to Sugarloaf.  And truckers and other motorists on Interstate 85 would find the road appealing to get past the mall traffic when heading westward.

Of course, right now the possibility of this road being built, and as a toll road, is merely talk. Much more discussion will have to take place to see it built.

No doubt the road’s best possibility would come if the governments of Forsyth, Cherokee and Bartow counties realized the benefit it would bring motorists seeking connections between I-75 and I-85.  These governments might even recognize it as something of an economic benefit to their counties, as a certain percent of motorists traveling this route will spend monies as they stop along the way. And if these counties considered it as a toll road, the cost would be paid by the users.

It’s something that could happen down the road, so to speak.  So, pay attention.

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