The Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC), under the Hinesville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, voted to approve a request to change the location of rumble strips along Highway 84. The request was made by Liberty County, Flemington, and Midway officials directed at the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
Currently, the rumble strips are located on the inside of the painted line that separates the highway from the shoulder. If GDOT accepts the request, the current rumble strips will be paved over and new ones placed directly onto the white painted line. This is to ensure that bicyclists have an extra foot or two when riding in the area.
Bicyclists regularly use the shoulder area when cycling, and while the TCC are not condoning this use of the highway shoulder, they acknowledge that bicyclists must share the road with motorists and are currently having trouble fitting between the rumble strips and the edge of the road. No other changes will be made to the shoulder and the moving of these rumble strips will not make the shoulder an official bicycle lane, committee members said. Cyclists must use this edge of the road at their own risk. Committee members were also updated on road conditions and projects.
Cracks have been noted along Highway 196 Southbound near the 24-25 mile markers, committee members were told. GDOT has been notified.
Sand located on Highway 196 tracked on by trucks entering from Rogers Pasture Road is expected to be removed at an unknown date. Debris at the intersection of Highway 196 and Highway 84 is said to be from trucks. Liberty County and GDOT are currently determining the best course of action to remove it. A low hanging school zone sign on Highway 84 has been raised allowing trucks to easily pass under.
In regard to the coming bypass, environmental documentation which will allow for a right-of-way (R.O.W.) acquisition (or the right to acquire property for transportation purposes) is underway. The R.O.W. will typically take 12 months. So far, the bypass is set to come off of Highway 84 in Walthourville, over the railroad tracks, and come back to connect to 119 Highway, according to Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission planner Alan Seifert. Construction could start in mid-2022. In addition, bidding will be made for improvements to the Flemington curve and for the Taylors Creek Bridge in 2020. Interstate 95 construction has been delayed multiple times and will continue to be delayed until a contractor is available, committee members were told. Construction on the sidewalk down South Main is still on schedule and is currently 50 percent complete.
Liberty Transit currently has nine buses each being 10 years old, TCC members learned. They will be replaced in the GDOT fiscal year 2021 budget year. GDOT is currently developing a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan which the Liberty Transit will participate in the development of and adopt once it is complete.
The TCC acknowledged congestion on Highway 84 occurs throughout the day, but decided to continue discussing possible solutions at a later meeting.
The Coastal Regional Commission is working on an update to the regional bicycle and pedestrian plan. The Policy Committee approved the Hinesville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (HAMPO) fiscal year 2020 United Planning Work Program by resolution on June 13. They also supported the City of Hinesville’s Transportation Alternatives Program grant application by resolution on June 13.
The next TCC meeting is scheduled for Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. at the Historic Liberty County Courthouse, room 1100.