If you think traffic on Flemington’s Old Sunbury Road is unbearable, you’re not alone.
The Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield Growth Management Partnership held a public input meeting Tuesday to discuss four potential routes that may be used to alleviate the congestion, a project referred to as the “Flemington loop.”
The proposed road will serve as an alternate route between Highway 84 in Flemington and Military Road 47 on post, near the recently constructed 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team barracks.
“The traffic has picked up even more since all the troops have come back, and it’s just a two-lane road, and everybody speeds on it,” Flemington Mayor Sandra Martin said.
By diverting traffic from Old Sunbury, the new corridor would help preserve the historical sites and residential feel of the tree-lined, 35 mph road.
During the first half of the two-hour meeting, more than 20 stakeholders came out to inspect the routes, learn about the project and provide their input to FSGMP and the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission.
The route closest to Fort Stewart already is determined, but how and where exactly it should access Highway 84 is the aspect with the most variation. Proposed access points include just east of Winlectric and just west of Bacon Field subdivision.
“The most common comment I’ve gotten is, ‘When can it be built?’” said LCPC planning manager Rachel Hatcher. “They see it as a hopeful solution.”
The project, however, is included on the regionally constrained list of projects for the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 voter referendum in July. If the referendum passes at the polls, a 1 percent sales tax will be enacted beginning January 2013, and 75 percent of the revenue would be a source of funding for projects with regional impacts, such as the proposed loop and a Hinesville bypass.
The other 25 percent would be dispersed to area municipalities according to a formula that accounts for population and center-line road miles, also to fund transportation projects.
Project planners will continue to perform environmental impact studies and seek input about which proposed route is best, but the project’s next move will be dictated by the TIA vote, according to LCPC Executive director Sonny Timmerman.
The road, initially discussed by the Liberty County Development Authority as part of a now-abandoned idea to create an industrial park in the area, was identified on a long-range transportation plan, according to FSGMP Director Jeff Ricketson.
The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment dedicated funds for this stage of development in the plan, which began in the fall of 2011, according to RS&H engineering consultant Whitney Shephard.