When a developer’s group spoke to the Effingham Industrial Development Authority last month, they espoused the need for roads.
Their words found receptive ears.
“The most important thing in this county is roads,” IDA board member Charles Hinely said. “We’ve got to get behind one road at a time. Five years ago, if we had gotten behind the Rincon bypass, it would have gotten done.”
IDA Chief Executive Officer John Henry will meet with Carter and Burgess, the firm doing a traffic management study, on countywide transportation needs. Road issues he may impress upon them are Old Augusta Road, Effingham Parkway and the I-16 overpass at Old River Road.
Moreland Altobelli has begun preliminary engineering of the projected improvements for the Old River Road interchange with I-16.
“We were told the same thing we’ve been told all along,” Henry said. “It’s in the work program. If you have everything ready to go and ready to go to construction, you move to the top of the list.”
County commissioners agreed to keep the IDA updated on the work at the interchange, which the county is overseeing as part of the stipulations of the deal.
“That was the sticking point in the intergovernmental agreement,” Henry said. “We’re still on the hook for $952,000. But the important thing is we know what’s going on out there.”
The price tag to get much of the work needed in the deal with DP Partners to develop the tracts appears to be more amenable than first anticipated. The IDA will apply for an Economic Development Agency grant for $1 million for work on the planned wastewater treatment plant to go on the northern I-16 tract.
“We’re looking at being able to get the road work, the interchange work and power brought to the site for $4.9 million,” Henry said.
The interchange improvements also may get speeded up, with work starting in two years instead of three to five years. The IDA may have spend another $1 million to get the work going.
“We are bound to DP Partners to get the work done,” IDA Vice-Chairman Chap Bennett said. “The road work will always pay off.”