Georgia Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Purcell joined Long County officials on June 19 to look at the possibility of state funding for a second access to a planned school in Ludowici.
It would be a joint project between the Long County Commission and Board of Education. Purcell met with Long County Chairman Mike Riddle, Board of Education Director of Support Services Scotty Hattaway, Municipal Project Director Paul Christianson and DOT District Local Coordinator Brent Mosley.
Hattaway estimated there will be 2,000 students and staff at the school, and that now only one access road from Highway 84 is planned.
Riddle said he was concerned about the amount of traffic at the new school.
"Most of the people that are going to be attending this school are going to be coming from the Elim Church and Rye Patch area, out in that direction," Riddle said. "Because of this, all of that traffic will have to take a left and cross over 84 in Ludowici. The congestion is going to be horrible and in my opinion, with that much traffic, there will be safety concerns."
Purcell said that even though it was being looked at as a joint venture, the only way any funding could be requested was if it ran through the county.
"I’m very thankful to Secretary Purcell for taking the time to meet with us," Riddle said. "Every time I’ve approached her about a project she has always been willing to listen and do all she can to help, without a doubt she is a friend to Long County,"
He said funding options were discussed, but nothing guaranteed.
"I don’t want to mislead anyone," he said. "At this point, money for a project like this is going to be hard to come by and truthfully nothing is guaranteed, but by the same token, you definitely won’t get any money if you don’t ask."