Great Ogeechee Parkway opens in Richmond Hill, funded by TSPLOST

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 5:29 PM EST
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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - A new road open in Richmond Hill will connect the area and help cut down on traffic.

It had its ribbon cutting ceremony Monday afternoon.

WTOC spoke with people from the county and city who both say this area is growing rapidly and it’s not expected to stop. You can see this is a long stretch of road that goes from Harris Trail Road to Belfast Keller, down by I-95, providing a straight pathway through land people used to have to trek around. The city manager telling me says this is particularly big as the new high school gets closer to being built.

“Provide some connectivity for some folks that live in the city limits to get to the new high school so we felt it was a pretty crucial piece of infrastructure to put in before a lot of houses got built out there. It was a little bit of a stretch on the front end but we’re glad we did it now,” said City Manager Chris Lovell.

The city manager also points out that this road was funded, for about $4 million, by TSPLOST, which we know is sales tax. This new road isn’t the only development project going on in Richmond Hill though.

Exit 82 is the other major project in Richmond Hill right now. Both this and the new road are part of a larger development goal for the area.

“We’re going to transform Pine Forest into mixed use community where people will want to live and raise a family,” said Bill Cunningham, Vice President of Real Estate Raydient Places.

City leaders say that’s already happening, and with these projects they’re hoping to get ahead of the further growth to come.

“The important thing that we really want to focus on and I think the county as well is making sure we don’t get behind the eight ball on traffic,” Lovell said.

As the population increases there’s another concern Lovell is looking out for that he says this new exit and it’s development will help with.

“Bryan County, south Brian predominantly has been a rooftop community, with very little commercial base tax base. We do know that’s not sustainable long-term.”

The plan details the exit will have retail, food and hotel options to bring in sales tax dollars from outside the community... but as for what’s going into those spaces....

“I wish I could tell you, I really do.”

That’s because Cunningham says conversations are in the works and they just can’t reveal with who, yet.

Although Cunningham wouldn’t tell me what stores would be going into those areas, he did say whatever does will try to serve as wide a customer base as possible, to best serve the community.

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