Once as rare as Big 10 football fans in coastal Georgia, roundabouts have become a straightforward way to keep traffic moving in congested areas without resorting to traffic signals.
Like Big 10 fans, they’re becoming increasingly common in Bryan County, which didn’t have a roundabout until 2015.
That’s when the state constructed a roundabout at Highway 144 and Belfast River Road in South Bryan as part of the $18 million widening of 144. That roundabout has since been widened, and others soon followed.
Double roundabouts in Richmond Hill at the Belfast Keller interchange opened in 2020, and the double-roundabouts at the Highway 144 and I-95 interchange were completed in 2021. More are on the way.
Work has started on a pair of roundabouts on Belfast Keller Road at the entrances to the new Richmond Hill High School, which is expected to open in 2025 at a cost of around $100 million. The roundabouts, slated to be complete in 2024, are part of an approximately $15 million TSPLOST funded project that includes widening Belfast Keller in the area to four lanes, Bryan County spokesman Matt Kent said.
The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to install a roundabout at the Highway 144 and Oak Level intersection, at the cost of about $1.3 million. It is expected to be completed in early 2025.
And, a roundabout is possible at the Great Ogeechee Parkway and Belfast Keller intersection, though that could come down the road.
But those almost pale in comparison to the plans for Black Creek and Blitchton near the Hyundai Metaplant America.
There, the GDOT is planning a roundabout for the intersection of highways 80 and 280 in Blitchton, another roundabout on Highway 280 at the Oracal Parkway light; a double roundabout at the I-16 and Highway 280 interhange – that’s four, if you’re keeping count – and two more on Highway 280 south of the interstate near the entrance to the Mega-Site, including one at Dillon Drive, which will connect into the I-16 frontage road at the Mega-Site.
Three more GDOT planned roundabouts will go at the new I-16 interchange at Old Cuyler Road in a project scheduled to begin in 2025, though that, like many plans, is subject to change.
Finally, a roundabout at Highway 280 and Wilma Edwards Road near the Bryan County Board of Education Central Office are moving forward. Work on that $3 million TSPLOT funded project is estimated to begin in early 2024 and take roughly a year to complete.