Changes coming to intersection of Hwy 17, Blue Jay Road in Effingham County

Changes coming to intersection of Hwy 17, Blue Jay Road in Effingham County

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - The Georgia Department of Transportation will be implementing a few changes to the intersection of Highway 17 and Blue Jay Road in Effingham County before the eventual installation of a roundabout.

On Monday, July 9, the two-way stop will be changed to an all-way stop. Rumble strips, stop signage and painted stop bars will be added to Hwy 17.

GDOT plans to place message boards on Monday, July 2 to notify the public.

Georgia Power is scheduled to install intersection lighting on Wednesday, June 27.

This all-way stop is an interim measure to hopefully reduce wrecks before the roundabout will be installed. There is no date listed for the hopeful installation of the roundabout.

Many Effingham residents say this can only help improve the situation considering how dangerous the intersection is.

"We've got to do something at that intersection. We're just having too many wrecks there. We've been back and forth for years and years with the state and with the county to get something done with this intersection. I'm personally not sure how well it's going to work, but let's give it a try. Let's try something," Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said.

The sheriff's office calls Highway 17 and Blue Jay Road the most dangerous intersection in the county. One woman told WTOC how this intersection changed her family's life forever.

"For about three years, I tried to avoid that road at all costs," Diane Allman said.

Allman's younger brother, Luke Hannon, was killed on Highway 17 four years ago in a head-on collision near Blue Jay Road.

"I'm a mother of four young kids and every time I would drive on that road I would think about what could happen."

Effingham residents and lawmakers have pushed for a change at what the ECSO calls a horrific intersection.

Georgia Representative Bill Hitchens was one of them.

"My daughter drives through their twice a day every day. My grandson comes through there routinely and we worry all the time about getting a phone call that something terrible has happened," Rep. Hitchens said.

Now, that change is happening.

Sometime in July, the sheriff's office says you'll see an even bigger difference.

"That intersection will actually close for the weekend completely. They'll do the roundabout. It's a temporary roundabout that they can get done prior to the school year starting back, until they can get in and do the full-blown roundabout," Sheriff McDuffie said.

Allman says Luke Hannon would be 23-years-old this year. For her to see this project come to fruition, is much needed.

"And that makes me happy, I like to think that this could be done and part of it would be in memory of my brother's passing," Allman said.

Deputies will be out at this intersection come July 9 making sure all drivers are on high alert.

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