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County conducting traffic study on 17
Bryan County seal 2016

Bryan County Commissioners said Feb. 8 a traffic study is in the works to see what can be done to make driving on Highway 17 safer.

The issue came up near the end of the commission’s meeting in Richmond Hill when a resident, Patrick McDonald, asked if the county could look into putting “some kind of traffic control device” at Highway 17’s intersection with Belfast Keller Road.

McDonald said more people are using Belfast Keller Road as the area grows and that, combined with high speeds on 17 “in excess of 70 mph,” has led to a number of wrecks.

Commission Chairman Carter Infinger noted the road is a state highway, then Commissioner Dallas Daniels added the county is working on study that is taking “holistic approach to see what things are right and what can be improved,” on the heavily traveled four-lane road daily linking thousands of commuters in Liberty County and beyond to I-95.  

The most recent Georgia Department of Transportation traffic counts show more than 25,000 motorists a day used that stretch of Highway 17 in 2020.

Earlier in the meeting, commissioners voted 3-1 to approve rezoning a 6.5 acre tract which opens the door to putting a mini-storage facility at the intersection of Highway 17 south and Clarktown Road.

The rezoning, from a rural designation to one allowing businesses, came despite objections from nearby residents concerned about a myriad of issues, ranging from the loss of trees as well as additional lights, noise, flooding and additional traffic at Clarktown Road’s intersection with Highway 17.

There were 33 crashes at the intersection over a five year period from 2015-2019, according to GDOT, which is planning to put in an R-Cut intersection designed to prevent both left hand turns and U-turns at the site.

One of the property owners, Ashley Boland, told commissioners Feb. 8 her grandfather bought the land 60 years ago and they planned on following ordinances and want to “be good stewards” and make the project acceptable to the community.

Despite the rezoning, developers still have to submit site plans for approval before the project can move forward.




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