Improvements to Belfast Keller Road appear closer to becoming reality after Richmond Hill City Council on Tuesday night adopted a “non-binding memorandum of understanding” with Bryan County Commissioners and Raydient Richmond Hill LLC, the owner and developer of much of the land around the new Belfast Keller Interchange.
The memorandum is an effort by officials to come to terms on road improvements for an area expected to see further commercial and residential growth. The project is expected to cost around $55 million, according to the engineering firm Thomas & Hutton.
While a draft of the document loosely spells out how the governments and developer will move ahead, it notes Bryan County is already spending money on the project, including the funding of roundabouts at the entrance of the new 3,500-student Richmond Hill High School and at Cranston Bluff. The new RHHS is expected to open in 2024.
Raydient is donating 10 to 12.5 acres of land for right of way and has paid for a traffic study. The developer also will commit an additional $6.2 million to the project, according to the MOU, which stresses that “time and cooperation are of the essence.”
Richmond Hill councilman Steve Scholar said the MOU, which calls for a more complete agreement Aug. 15 and work to begin by June 2023, is a positive step forward.
“It’s good to see the City, the County and Raydient working together for the betterment of Bryan County - the unincorporated area of the county and the City. I’d like to thank the County and I’d also like to thank Raydient for working closely with us,” he said.