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Old Augusta work set to move forward
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Work on the next two phases of Old Augusta Road could commence in the next month, after Effingham County commissioners awarded a bid for the project.

Commissioners have approved Baker Infrastructure’s bid of $6.2 million for phases 2A and 2B of Old Augusta Road. The contract covers grading, draining, base and paving of the 4.25-mile stretch of road running from Chimney Road to Rincon-Stillwell Road.

The contract also calls for the installation of a traffic signal at the Highway 21-Old Augusta Road intersection.

“We’re going to let all three projects in all one contract to one bidder,” said county civil engineer Toss Allen.

The project is being backed by proceeds from the special purpose local option sales tax. The state, through its local maintenance improvement grants, is contributing $1.1 million total to the work.

Seaboard Construction’s bid was for $6.5 million and Oldcastle South Group submitted a bid of $7.6 million.

“We had several people show up for the pre-construction meeting,” Allen said, “but we only had three people turn in bids. I believe it was a little larger than some of them could handle.”

Baker Infrastructure has 18 months to finish the next two phases of Old Augusta Road from the date it’s given the notice to proceed. Commissioners are expected to get a contract for the notice to proceed next month.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Commissioner Vera Jones.

Baker Infrastructure has 30 days to get started on the project once it is given the go-ahead.

“I don’t believe that will be an issue,” Allen said.

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the state Department of Transportation for the two phases. The state will conduct all inspections for the work, and the county and state already have a contract in place for phase 2A.Phase 2B begins around Mallard Point and continues to the intersection at Rincon-Stillwell Road.

The county wasn’t able to incorporate what the city of Rincon is doing with its work on Fort Howard Road into its plans for Old Augusta Road.

“If we do that now, it changes the area of potential influence of the project and we go back to the beginning with our environmental (studies),” Allen said.

Allen recommended going ahead with the Old Augusta work and taking that final section of road as a local project, since they don’t expect to receive any state aid for the work.

“We’ll probably redesign the intersection so we don’t have three lanes going into two lanes,” he said.