The Georgia Department of Transportation has announced a $1,815,000 award for 21 safety projects in 15 counties in southeast Georgia, including $200,000 in Liberty County. The funds are part of the fiscal 2016 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant Off-System Safety Program, according to a news release issued Thursday night.
“Last year, Georgia saw the first increase in roadway fatalities in a decade,” said GDOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. “Off-system or local roads account for approximately 45 percent of Georgia’s motor vehicle fatalities. Reducing these statewide numbers requires a significant investment to enhance safety on local streets and roads. I am pleased that we can assist with the funding for these very critical projects.”
State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, said this grant shows that the transportation bill, House Bill 170,which became law last year to increase funding for road projects, is working and that Liberty County can expect to see more state funding.
“As ranking Democrat on the House Transportation Committee, we worked hard to make sure that we would have these funds,” he said. “It’s 900 extra million dollars and we will be looking for many, many more to improve our transportation. Liberty County certainly at a $200,000 level is well-represented in this round of money.”
The OSS Program focuses on low-cost safety improvements that are likely to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes on city streets and county roads. Eligible projects include raised pavement markers, rumble strips, pavement markings, edge lines, centerlines, stop bars, signs, chevrons (sign marking for curves), vegetation removal, new or replacement guardrail, traffic signals, roundabouts, advance post-mounted flashing beacons for intersections or school zones, pedestrian improvements and minor shoulder widening.
Liberty County was awarded $80,000 for striping on 18 county roads. Hinesville was granted $80,000 for striping on 54 city streets and lighting on the existing roundabout (Memorial Drive and North Main Street). And Flemington was awarded $40,000 for widening to allow for dedicated left- and right-turn lanes.