Price tag for fixing Hwy 80 is Major step forward - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Price tag for fixing Hwy 80 is Major step forward

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman met with the planning staff at the highest level of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The idea of fixing U.S. Highway 80 is now becoming a reality with a price tag and full support from legislators at the state and federal levels.

"[It's] $107 million right now, which you know, by the time construction actually begins might be even more," said Buelterman.

Buelterman is caught between a rock and hard place and then some. It's called protected marshland and federal land aka Fort Pulaski, and he explains the Dept. of the Interior owns not just the entrance to the park, but it also owns the entire causeway.

Washington has heard his cries for help, and with a price tag in hand, now begins the long journey of asking for that money from the feds, something Buelterman says he's used to.

"It's similar to our renourishment project," Buelterman said. "We had to do a lot of education and lobbying to make people understand the reason we had erosion on the beach was because of the shipping channel. It took years for us to validate that and convince the public."

And while there's not a lot of convincing here that U.S. 80 needs work, he hopes his lobbying for it at the top will be a walk on the beach.

"I have a meeting with our congressman in Washington in a couple of weeks and the Federal Dept. of Transportation to help this process go smoother and faster," he said.

So while it may not be our #fix80now, which is the social media push for work along the highway, on a federal level, it's more like #fix80inthenearfuture.

Copyright 2015 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly