At the June 10, Hinesville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (HAMPO) updates were provided on various roadway projects and transportation matters. The right-of way certification is in progress for the State Road 119 Highway 84 connector. The bridge replacement project at State Road 119 and Taylors Creek is expected to start in late fall or early winter of this year. The Highway 84, Old Sunbury Road project is ongoing and expected to be complete in November 2022.
The City of Hinesville received three new transit buses and according to Assistant City Manager Ryan Arnold all three are cleared for service. COVID-19 sanitization and protections remain in effect to include the use of gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and protective barriers. It was reported that construction began March 29, to improve several bus stops across the city, with some already completed. The funding for the improvement came from the CARES Act.
It was reported that bus ridership is once again increasing after a down swing due to the pandemic, to include better ridership on route three which was shutdown for roughly a year.
RS&H Inc., Senior planner Rachel Hatcher informed the HAMPO group that a new public complaint was received regarding the widening of Veterans Parkway causing issues requiring U-turns at Grove Point Drive. Hatcher explained how they performed a safety screening using Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Numeric Data and how they coordinated with the City of Hinesville and the GDOT district office in providing a copy of their summary of findings.
A crash analysis of Veterans Parkway at Grove Point Drive showed there were 25 crashes over a seven-year period at that intersection. There were no fatal accidents or injuries noted in those 25 accidents. Five were classified as angle collisions, 11 were rear-end collisions, one was a head-on collision, eight were from striking an animal or non-motor vehicle collision. Four rear-end collisions were caused by distracted drivers and six were caused by drivers following too closely. The analysis indicated that roughly 10,800 cars travel along that intersection per day in both directions. Hatcher said the findings indicate that the complaint needs to be monitored but at this point falls below the threshold of requiring any changes to the existing widening project. She said they will respond to the complainant and report what they found. She recommended HAMPO review this location as post pandemic travel volumes normalize and subsequent crash data is collected, approximately two years from now to ensure the trend remains consistent with their findings.
The HMAPO group was informed that GDOT opened a call for projects for their fiscal year 2022 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). TAP projects cover items like pedestrian facilities, bicycle facilities and pedestrian streetscaping projects. The deadline to apply for TAP funds is July 31, 2022.
It was also reported that the HAMPO certification report is currently underway. Every four years, an MPO must be certified that it is carrying out the metropolitan planning process in adherence with federal statutes and regulations. HAMPO’s last certification review was in 2016the reviews requirements include a site visit, review of planning documents in advance of site visit, certification report and certification review closeout presentation. GDOT and HAMPO staff kicked-off their certification process on April 20.