Bryan County Commissioners on Tuesday approved spending nearly $1 million on design work for a roundabout at the intersection of highways 80 and 280 in Blitchton.
No time frame has been given for completion of the project, which is expected to cost around $4.9 million, but Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor told commissioners at their Tuesday meeting in Pembroke, “this gets the ball rolling.”
A state grant could help fund about $2 million in construction. Various warehouse develpments in the area, known as the North Bryan Industrial Development Region, are also expected to pay a share of the cost.
The intersection of the two U.S. highways, both two-lane in Bryan County, has become increasingly congested due to the booming growth of the Savannah port. As many as 300 left turns an hour are made off 80 onto 280 during peak hours, a traffic engineer told commissioners in 2021.
Truckers have traditionally used Highway 80 out of Savannah to get to Highway 280 and over to I-16, occasionally backing up westbound traffic on 80 into Effingham County.
Some Blitchton residents have expressed concerns about traffic safety on the road, and say noise from the trucks is a constant.
The design work is being handled by Thomas & Hutton, a Savannah engineering firm.