BRYAN CO., GA (WTOC) - The long-anticipated widening of State Route 144 in Richmond Hill is back on Georgia's 2018 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program list.
Previously, the widening project had been moved to the 2025 list, meaning residents and visitors would continue to deal with increasing traffic problems for the better part of a decade. However, Bryan County teamed up with officials from the City of Richmond Hill, area legislators, Georgia Department of Transportation officials, and advocates to emphasize the importance of the project and lobby for its placement on the 2018 list. That persistence has paid off.
It was just announced that the project to widen State Route 144 from Timber Trail to Belfast Keller Road is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018. It's expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.
"When this road was built, there was maybe 5, 8, 10,000 people here. Now, we are reaching upwards to 40,000 people in our county," said Carter Infinger, Bryan County Commission Chairman. "It's a huge issue for traffic, and this road hasn't been improved much, and neighborhoods are going off this road, so really, not only for safety but during hurricane evacuations and things, it just needs to be updated."
Other recently approved projects in Bryan County include plans for two major intersections: Belfast River Road at Harris Trail and Belfast River Road at Belfast Keller Road. The county is also exploring options for U.S. Highway 17 at Belfast Keller Road.