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GDOT chief discusses plans for area, state
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ATLANTA — A group of state officials responsible for making things go, led by Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry, addressed a collection of Effingham County school and business leaders at the Capitol on Jan. 22.

McMurry kicked off a parade of political figures that included Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and several others.

“I’ve got really good news and I’ve got bad news,” McMurry said in a room packed with Effingham Countians during lunch. “The really good news is what this legislature did — and Governor Deal — back in 2015. I think you are aware of it — the Transportation Funding Act of 2015.

“It’s made a sizable difference, about a billion dollars’ difference, in funding that has come into the Department of Transportation to be deployed back into the counties across Georgia. You guys have fared very well because of that funding.”

McMurry said the state has bid out about $800 million in transportation projects in 2018.

As McMurry spoke, the federal government was embroiled in a shutdown, leaving transportation funding in limbo. A stopgap spending measure was passed by Congress later in the day.

“We’ve paid it forward as far as we can with the federal, and that’s the bad news,” McMurry said. “Now that there is a shutdown and there’s not a continuing resolution that will be long term that is rumored, we are having to slow projects down and, basically, put projects to be awarded or to go forward on hold. All projects that are under construction today, under design today or under right-of-way acquisition today will go forward. We have the money to do that. It’s always the projects that should go forward in February and March that are undetermined. Just stay tuned.”

McMurry said several roundabouts are planned for Effingham County, including one in Guyton at Ga. Hwys 17 and 119. Rincon has one in the works at Stillwell Road and Ga. Hwy 275.

See the Jan. 31 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.