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County approves traffic impact study for Exit 76
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The LCEMA meeting will be at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center.

Liberty County commissioners have reached a contract with a firm to conduct a traffic impact analysis at the I-95/Exit 76 interchange.

Commissioners approved a study from Atlas for $31,350, and engineer Trent Long said the traffic impact analysis is needed so that the Department of Transportation and the county can look at what to do with the overpass.

“We need more lanes and more through-put,” Long told commissioners. “It’s going to become imperative we have that soon.”

The traffic impact analysis is expected to give GDOT information it may need to find funding for work on the overpass.

Chairman Donald Lovette said that with all the development knocking on the county’s door, coupled with safety concerns from the residents, the study was a must.

“It’s going to take years to get this to happen, but if you don’t get started, we’ll never get there,” he said.

Commissioners also are weighing a request from elections board chairman John McIver to stagger the terms of elections board members.

County commissioners reappointed the current board members to their posts, but all of their appointments were up at the same time. The commissioners appoint five members, and the two major political parties chose a representative of their own to sit on the board.

“There needs to be a system in place where our board terms are stagged for the purpose of continuity,” McIver said. “You could have new board members who are not very well versed in the procedures and policies the board has.”

For that to happen, the county must pass a resolution for state Rep. Al Williams to carry as local legislation in the upcoming General Assembly session.

“Continuity is important,” said Commissioner Gary Gilliard.

McIver praised the work of elections supervisor Ronda Walthour and her staff in the recent general election.

“We have a great working team,” he said. “Ms. Walthour and her team did a wonderful job. By 8:30 that night, all of the precincts made their reports to the office and by 9:17, all the data that was needed to be in the system was in the system. And by 9:35, it was sent to the secretary of state.

“This was the earliest report we have made to the secretary of state. The working team Ronda has put together made that happen.”

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