The red light for Guyton’s most notorious intersection may have to wait — for a while.
Alderman Jeff Lariscy said he spoke with state Department of Transportation officials at their district office in Jesup and they reiterated that every project — including the signal for the intersections of Highways 17 and 119 — in the DOT’s work list is being held up as the department sorts out a monumental funding shortfall.
“They do have some plans for it,” Lariscy said. “They couldn’t give me a firm date on anything. All projects are holding right now.”
Since the roads in question are both state highways, any placement of a traffic signal is up to the state DOT.
It could be another year before work on a signal at 17 and 119 begins, he said.
“Budgetary constraints are driving everything,” Lariscy said.
The intersection is currently a four-way stop, but Guyton officials have been pushing for a signal to be placed there for several years.
State Rep. Jon Burns and state Sen. Jack Hill announced in March the state DOT had agreed to install a light at the intersection. DOT district engineer Glenn Durrence said his office would recommend the signal be approved by the DOT headquarters.
Lariscy said DOT officials told him there would white-topping, where sections of road going into the intersection 100 yards long would be replaced by concrete, allowing the road to withstand the wear and tear from large trucks going through.
“They are keeping us in mind,” he said.
Guyton City Council members said the number and frequency of near-misses at the intersection holds no sway with the DOT.
“There’s not enough accidents on record for it to be a safety issue,” Lariscy said.
The city council also has requested the speed limit approaching the intersection be lowered.
“But the DOT wouldn’t do that either,” Alderman Les Pevey said.