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144 widening one of many local projects on GDOT list
Contract awarded to start work, but it's unclear when work will start

A project that has been in the works for at least a decade may finally be nearing its start. 

A Savannah company has been awarded a $25.9 million state contract to widen Highway 144 from two to four lanes from Timber Trail to Belfast River Road. 

Preferred Materials was awarded the bid for the 4.7 mile project, Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor told commissioners at their June 14 meeting, though a start date for the Georgia Department of Transportation project hasn’t been announced.

But the widening, which is aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in South Bryan, is only one of several projects on GDOT’s New Capacity Projects list for Bryan County and the surrounding area. 

While that list isn’t set in stone, and the 10-plus year wait for the 144 widening is an example of how such projects can be derailed, here’s a look at other road improvements that could be coming if they’re funded. 

Eight-laneing I-95: Up top of the list is widening I-95 from six to eight lanes from I-16 in Chatham County to Highway 144 in Richmond Hill.

That $9.1 million project would include a center barrier wall between northbound and southbound lanes, according to GDOT.

Widening Highway 17: This project, which lists at about $50 million on the GDOT website, would widen 17 from Highway 196 in Liberty County to I-95 and include a 20-foot raised median.

Belfast Siding Road: This $33 million project calls for making Belfast Siding a four-lane divided road from Highway 17 to Park Hill Road.

Harris Trail, phase 2: This $10.9 million project would widen Harris Trail from two to four lanes from Timber Trail to Port Royal Road. A similar project to widen Harris Trial from two to four lanes from Port Royal to Belfast Keller Road is also listed. It’s price is $20.8 million.

North Bryan is also on GDOT’s radar. The proposed widening of Highway 280 at entrances to the Interstate Centre in Black Creek will cost about $9.5 million, GDOT says.

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