Richmond Hill drivers may see some traffic relief along Highway 144 with plans for both a traffic light at Timber Trail Road and a right-turn lane at Highway 17.
Work to install a traffic light where heavily travelled Timber Trail meets crowded Highway 144 should get under way before Halloween, according to Bryan County Administrator Ray Pittman.
“They had the preconstruction meeting (Friday) and they’re walking it one more time Monday before giving the notice to proceed,” he said. “I’d say work could begin within the next two weeks.”
The entire project includes resurfacing of Timber Trail to Harris Trail and Harris Trail to I-95 and should be complete by April, according to County Engineer Kirk Croasmun.
And it’s just the latest good news for South Bryan motorists who face gridlock and occasionally dangerous conditions on local roads.
Tuesday night, Richmond Hill officials learned the long lines of backed-up traffic in the right-hand lane of Highway 144 West at Highway 17 could soon be a thing of the past.
The Georgia Department of Transportation approved the city’s plan to add a right-turn-only lane at the crowded intersection, and work could start as early as January, according to Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler.
“It’s definitely good news,” he said.
The state’s approval of the project was announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting and brought smiles from council members and others.
The new turn-only lane will be 600 feet long and hold 25 cars, according to city engineers who said room for the dedicated turn lane will be made by shrinking the other lanes.
Though west-bound traffic has long backed up at the intersection, which is easily the most congested in Richmond Hill, in recent months the lines seemed to have gotten longer.
The project is just the latest in a series of improvements to that area — the DOT recently added extra left-turn lanes off Highway 17 onto 144 in both directions to ease the flow of traffic through the intersection. Also, an additional traffic light was added at Highway 17 and Mulberry to address safety concerns.