The long, long, long-awaited widening of Highway 144 in South Bryan is currently scheduled to begin in 2015, according to the Georgia DOT.
The project, which will cover 4.6 miles from Timber Trail Road east to Belfast River Road, is estimated to cost around $23 million and could be finished in 2018.
News of the planned widening is welcome to Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed.
“It’s certainly been a long time coming,” he said. “I’m tickled to death they’re finally putting a date on it. Of course, they’ve put dates on it before.”
Burnsed said he also was glad to see bike lanes included in the project and the speed limit dropped to 45 mph.
State engineers and local officials met to review the plan Oct. 30 at the Bryan County Administrative Complex. The project calls for four lanes separated by a 20-foot grass median, along with 4-foot-wide bike lanes on each side, according to DOT spokesperson Jill Nagel.
She said the state plans to begin buying right of way in March in a process that could take about a year. Funding for that part of the project is already approved.
The state currently plans to put the project out for bid in March 2015 and once the contract is awarded and work begins, it will take about 30 months to complete.
Read more in the Nov. 6 edition of the News.