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County, DOT weigh options at Blue Jay and 17

POSTED: November 17, 2011 5:59 p.m.

The state Department of Transportation and Effingham County will try to find remedies for one of the county’s most accident-plagued intersections.

But a traffic signal at Highway 17 and Blue Jay Road isn’t in the offing.

“We have had several wrecks,” county public works engineer Toss Allen said of the intersection.

The state DOT has asked what it could do at the intersection and is looking at installing flashers on the advanced warning signs along Blue Jay Road as drivers approach Highway 17.

Allen said the DOT wants to do something to make drivers on Blue Jay Road know they are approaching an intersection and have to stop before continuing through it.

The state also is looking at adding the intersection to a list of roads deemed to be a high-risk rural road. The Federal Highway Administration had two roads already listed under that program, with plans to widen Hodgeville Road from Blue Jay Road to Goshen Road by two feet and to widen Sand Hill Road from Central Avenue to Highway 80 by two feet.

The state DOT wants to add Blue Jay to that list, according to Allen.

The Federal Highway Administration will reimburse the county up to $57,000 for road improvements, and Allen said the DOT projects costs of the planned Blue Jay Road improvements to be approximately $52,000 to $53,000. If the cost runs over what the FHA will cover, Allen asked commissioners if they would be willing to make up the difference.

Allen said residents have asked about putting a traffic signal at the intersection. Since the intersection involves a state highway, the installation of a signal falls under the DOT. DOT officials have said the intersection does not warrant a signal.

Also under consideration are rumble strips so drivers will know they are approaching an intersection.

County Administrator David Crawley added that one solution may involve putting in a roundabout at the intersection. But that solution won’t happen anytime soon.

“It’s going to take years for that to come through,” Allen said.

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