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Interchange to be named for former chairman, mayor who pushed for it

For as long as a lot of people can remember, former Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed championed an I-95 interchange at Belfast Keller Road. At a critical time, former Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler threw much needed city support into the project.

Officials say that’s why the Exit 82 interchange will be named the Jimmy Burnsed Interchange, and the bridge spanning I-95 will be named the Fowler-Burnsed Bridge, honoring both men for their work in turning the project into reality.

“The idea that we couldn’t get their names on this interchange just wasn’t going to happen,” State Rep. Ron Stephens said Tuesday.

Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter said much the same.

“If it wasn’t for those two men we wouldn’t have an interchange,” he added.

The Exit 82 interchange includes four roundabouts, the first outside metro-Atlanta to be designed in such a way, officials say.

So when will it open?

The new interchange is expected to be open before the end of January, but it’s not certain when and the Jan. 22 date mentioned at a recent Richmond Hill city council meeting is not set in stone.

Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jill Nagel said Tuesday the opening depends on a number of factors.

The DOT is also asking drivers not to use overpass before it’s officially open, saying that risks the lives of workers putting finishing touches on the interchange.

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