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County adds to list of potential LMIG road projects
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Effingham County commissioners have approved a supplemental list of road projects to be done through an influx of money provided by the state transportation funding act.

Because of HB 170, the transportation funding act, the motor fuel taxes that support the local maintenance improvement grants are bringing in more. A portion of the funds will be directed toward safety improvements, similar to the state Department of Transportation’s off-system safety program.

Local governments must put up a 30 percent match against the LMIG funds, and those entities have to submit a project list with road names, lengths of roads, type of work and expected costs and schedules no later than April 29.

The projects will have to be completed by the end of the year, said County Administrator Toss Allen.

Based on crash data and citizen complaints, among other criteria, the county has asked for help with Ralph Rahn, Sand Hill, Rahn Station, Kolic Helmey and Jabez Jones roads and with the Old Augusta-Forth Howard intersection. Allen said that list is for intersection improvements, with work to include widening, signage, additional paving, raised pavement markers “and a lot of striping.”

The county has submitted Sisters Ferry, Clyo-Kildare, Clyo-Shawnee, Mock, Courthouse and Silverhill Church roads, along with the Fort Howard-Old Augusta intersection, for the off-system safety program. Included in the list are bridges on Lewis Rahn, Long Bridge and Log Landing roads, for a total of 34 miles.

Among the items the county is requesting are striping, signage, raised pavement markers and pavement widening, and flashers for two of the roads.

“There’s not a project on here that doesn’t need doing,” said commission Chairman Wendall Kessler.

The county could be getting a roundabout at Fort Howard and Old Augusta roads. Allen pointed to a temporary roundabout installed along Highway 144 in Richmond Hill that was done within three hours and within the existing pavement. While the 144 roundabout may not have the amount of tractor-trailer traffic there is at Fort Howard and Old Augusta, there is much more room to work with, Kessler pointed out.

“I want to look at the existing footprint we have and see if we can do the same thing, do a temporary one there while we’re looking at a permanent solution,” Allen said. “We have plenty of existing right-of-way. There are no utilities to re-locate. It should be a fairly simple thing from a design standpoint.”

Commissioners also approved a traffic study from Coastal Engineering for the proposed central recreation complex along Highway 21 and Ralph Rahn Road. Bids ranged from $3,500 from Coastal to a highway of $28,000 from the six firms that submitted estimates.

“There was quite a range of these things,” Allen said.

The traffic study is required by the state DOT as part of allowing for entrances to the property that will have access to Highway 21. Allen said Scott Burns, who is the Coastal Engineering and Consulting owner, worked in GDOT traffic operations and Chatham County currently is using him on several projects.

“I believe he has the capability to conduct the study,” Allen said.