RICHMOND HILL, GA (WTOC) -If you live in the Richmond Hill area of Bryan County, you no doubt know how much of a headache traffic is on parts of Highway 144.
Simultaneous lane closures on 144 and Harris Trail last week frustrated many drivers, and the question we’ve been getting is: do the state and county communicate when they close down roads?
The short answer is yes, the state does communicate with Bryan County before closing down any roads, but that is little solace for people who sit in traffic every day.
“It’s crazy,” says Adam Price, who uses that route to drive frequently. “Every day it’s like traffic has tripled in the last 6 months.”
The progress on the 144 widening is having an adverse effect on traffic. Lane closures are causing a bit of a headache for drivers.
“Basically increasing a lot of their commute times," said Tracy Wheaton, a nearby resident. "A friend of mine said it took her 20 minutes to go like three miles down the road because of the lane closures.”
“Definitely backs up all the way through Richmond Hill all the way down 144, but I know that’s the price we’re going to have to pay in order to have it widened so we don’t have to deal with this 5, 10 years down the road,” says Stephen Willis, who also lives close by.
Last week, the issue was compounded by lane closures on a parallel route, Harris Trail, at the same time. GDOT also closed down Brisbon Road for a day or two to put utility lines under the road.
As for Harris Trail, The City of Richmond Hill closed down a lane to run utility lines on the route as well. However, those closures should be done.
GDOT says they mainly communicate with cities or counties on projects that touch state routes
Overall, the state and county say the traffic headache is the necessary evil to growth and expansion in Bryan County and it may be around for a little while. The project is set to be done in late 2020.