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Walthourville bypass set for summer bid
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The state is expected to put out to bid later this summer a proposed bypass around Walthourville. Will Murphy of Atlas Technical Consultants updated Liberty County commissioners — and Walthourville Mayor Larry Baker — on the progress of a road that will go around Walthourville and tie Highway 84 into Highway 119. 

The 2.6-milelong road will be two lanes, with one end about a half-mile south of where 119 and 84 intersect currently and the other end about a half mile east of where Tibet Road crosses Highway 119.

“We are in the final design phase,” Murphy told commissioners.

Plans call for the bypass to run east parallel to Highway 119, with a bridge over the CSX railroad line and two large wetlands on each side of the railroad. The connector would intersect with Arnold Drive, Carter Drive, Walthourville Cemetery Road and Tibet Road before tying back into 119.

Five public hearing open houses have been held and there has been outreach to those landowners whose property is being acquired for the right-of-way.

“There has been extensive outreach done,” County Administrator Joey Brown said.

Geotechnical and environmental studies also have been completed, and the state DOT has approved the final plans for the bridge. The final field plan review is set to be done in early February.

Of the 70 parcels needed for right-of-way, 58 have been acquired and negotiations are underway for seven others. Condemnations have been filed on four parcels. Murphy said that number of condemnations is typical.

Property owners along the route also will be getting noise and light barriers.

Roadway plans are 90% complete, and 90% of utilities have been certified.

“We may have a few driveways to modify, may have changes based on utility relocations, but the final plans are complete enough to hold review,” Murphy said.

Murphy added existing utilities may have to be relocated.

“They are well aware the project is coming in July and well aware of relocation,” he said.

The state is funding right-of-way acquisition at $5 million, and the county is providing $1.9 million for utilities.

The state is picking up the tab for construction, pegged at $29.1 million. The project is expected to be let for bid in July.

Brown said the amount of truck traffic turning onto Highway 119 has increased, as many truck drivers prefer to avoid the many stops and starts at Hinesville’s traffic lights.

“You’d be amazed at the amount of traffic on that route,” he said.

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