Some residents not happy about Benton Boulevard Extension Project

Some residents not happy about Benton Boulevard extension project

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - Chatham County engineers met Monday night to go over the final details before construction starts on the Benton Boulevard Extension Project.

Highlands residents gathered at the meeting to ask questions and raise concerns about the county-funded GA DOT project.

The project has been in the works for more than 20 years. Now, crews are only 30 days away from breaking ground on the road that will connect Benton Boulevard to Highway 30.

Highlands residents filed into Godley Station School, upset about increased traffic. Unfortunately, they’re raising concerns to city leaders who did not approve this project.

“The meeting felt like an info session, and maybe this is my issue, but no one here can address it, and or solve it or give a definitive answer," said Amber Shelton, Highlands resident.

The $10.5 million road extension would give Effingham residents another way into Savannah without using Highway 21. Despite the city enforcing a no-truck policy on Benton Boulevard, residents are concerned this expansion will only pick up traffic.

“I don’t want to talk about the things we can’t do. I want to talk about the things we can do. I think as long as our residents know we are listening to them and that we are taking action when we can, I think that’s what this is all about," said Alderman Van Johnson, City of Savannah, District 1.

The city says they can do some things despite not being responsible for the project. In anticipation of the expansion, the city says they extended Highlands Boulevard to Jimmy Deloach to add another route for drivers.

County Commissioner Chester Ellis is calling for another meeting later this month. Ellis wants to bring Georgia DOT and county engineers to answer these Savannah residents' questions and concerns.

“What’s to come for us, because ultimately, they don’t live right here. We live right here and we use these roads. We should have some say on how these roads operate and run around us."

This project would take around two years to finish, but engineers expect the impact to be minimal during construction because most of the area isn’t developed yet.

When the details of the next meeting are finalized, we will let you know.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.