It may not cost Effingham County much to alleviate traffic congestion in the stretch where McCall, Blandford and Blue Jay roads meet. The solution under consideration, though, may be intriguing.
The state Department of Transportation may put in a roundabout about the intersection, a solution first offered in a traffic study commissioned by the Effingham Industrial Development Authority. The study, by Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung, looked at the roads impacted by the eventual first phase of development of the Research Forest Tract.
“To help that separation where McCall, Blandford and Blue Jay come together, one of the things they recommended was to put in a traffic circle on the westernmost part, so it can be signalized,” said county public works engineer Toss Allen.
The state DOT has identified Blue Jay Road as having safety issues and there is a pot of federal money the DOT can use for safety improvements. The DOT would construct the roundabout, without needing a match of local money for the work. The county may have to do the design and acquire any needed right-of-way, if the roundabout went forward.
“If all we have to do is buy a little of right of way, I say do it all day long,” said County Administrator David Crawley.
Those same federal resources also could be used to widen Hodgeville Road from Blue Jay to Goshen Road, and widen Sand Hill Road from Highway 80 to Central Avenue.
“It’s not just a roundabout they’re looking to do,” Allen said. “We actually suggested the roundabout because it came out of that study.”
Allen has forwarded crash data to the state DOT.
The state DOT also is working plans for a deceleration lane from Highway 21 North to Log Landing Road.
Crawley said that right-of-way acquisition for phase 2A of Old Augusta Road is complete and it is ongoing for phase 2B. The county is talking with Georgia Power about utility relocation.