After years of planning, budgeting and anticipating, the Interstate 95 interchange at Belfast Keller Road is finally happening. The project is expected to cost about $18 million and will be financed thanks to a combination of funds from the Georgia Department of Transportation, a Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Grant and contributions from the City of Richmond Hill and Bryan County.
Bryan County and Richmond Hill each put in $2.725 million, plus the county contributed an extra $1.5 million that we’ll recover in a grant from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank. We recently handed over our portion of the funds, and we’re eager to see work begin.
Efficient transportation and safe, easily travelable roads are important to Bryan County officials, as well as our state leaders. This interchange would not be possible without the help of the other commission members, county staff, Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter, Rep. Ron Stephens, Rep. Jesse Petrea, Sen. Ben Watson, Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurray, GDOT planner Jay Roberts, GDOT Commission Board Member Ann Purcell, and local transportation advocate Steve Croy.
Work on the new interchange is slated to begin in the next few weeks, under contractor Reeves Construction of Americus. The estimated completion time is one-and-a-half to two years.
The county is particularly proud of this interchange for a number of reasons. First, we’re glad to be working with Richmond Hill, with whom we’ve combined funding to do an important project within city limits. Our joint efforts here are a prime example of the county and city working together to reach a common goal for the good of our residents. It’s nice to see a collaboration come to fruition
Second, the county’s sizable financial commitment highlights the value of making fiscally-responsible choices throughout the budget process. County Administrator Ben Taylor and the Bryan County Commission have emphasized the importance of saving, but still manage to deliver the high-quality services the community expects and deserves.
Our careful planning and the balanced budget are the keys to sustainably-managing resources, letting us effectively maintain the quality of life our residents value here in Bryan County. Our financial plans reflect the county’s priorities and allow us to move ahead with projects – such as this interchange – that will help us cope with growth accordingly. We know there’s always a chance big projects will end up costing more than expected, and we try to anticipate the ways in which we’ll handle that.
As work on the interchange continues, we’ll update you periodically with the latest news and advancements. We thank you for your patience throughout the duration of this project and look forward to a day in the near future when our residents have easier access to the places they visit for work, family and leisure time.