The state Department of Transportation will buy a sliver of land from Effingham County as it prepares to replace the Highway 80 bridge over the Ogeechee River.
With the new bridge, according to county public works engineer Toss Allen, the DOT wants to move the bridge slightly northward. The state also wants to straighten the curve and put in a wider bridge.
“They want to flatten the curve out and realign the road section,” Allen said.
Relocating that section of Highway 80 led the DOT to inquire about acquiring a little more than an acre of the old Atlas Sand property.
“They have no plans to widen (Highway) 80,” said Commissioner Bob Brantley. “That’s not on the books.”
County commissioners agreed to the assessed value and total fair market value offered as compensation. The DOT, needing 1.287 acres, has offered the county $1,647 for the land, which is part of the Atlas Sand Mine property, at a price of $1,300 an acre.
Allen estimated the county assessment of the land at $3,500 an acre, based on the property value and dividing by the acreage of the Atlas Sand property. But since the property is tax exempt, it has not been reassessed since the county purchased it.
“It’s a very low piece of property with a lot of wetlands,” Allen said. “I’m not sure in today’s market it would bring $1.1 million. It’s only an acre we’re talking about.”
Allen added he did not anticipate any work the state will do on that land to create more drainage problems for the area.