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Guest column: Making roads safer through TSPLOST
Carter Infinger
Carter Infinger is chairman of the Bryan County Commission.

Carter Infinger

Chairman Bryan County Commission

I want to thank those who voted in May to continue the TSPLOST for another five years. TSPLOST funds are mainly focused towards transportation safety in Bryan County as roadways, bridges, sidewalks, and intersections are the most heavily used of all County projects.

The most important upcoming project is the pedestrian bridge over Sterling Creek on Harris Trail. The current bridge is very narrow and does not safely allow foot traffic to cross. In the 2021 service delivery strategy negotiations between Richmond Hill and Bryan County, this project was on a list of eight most important projects that would get cooperative funding from both city and county. The bridge and sidewalk are currently under design with Bryan County taking the lead to create a safe path from the Brisbon Road area to Timber Trail Park and Richmond Hill High School. In conjunction with this project are improvements to Brisbon Road, to include sidewalks and road paving.

Paving, while making the roadway smoother to drive on, is also a safety improvement. Often the process includes removing the roadway to the base to rebuild the roadbed, resulting in a longer lasting surface and preventing potholes.

Widening the shoulders of roads is another way to prevent potholes and we have several miles of shoulder work planned over the next year. The primary culprit in destroying the sides of the roads are trailers slipping onto the dirt shoulder. By widening the paved shoulders two feet beyond the white line on each side, we can prevent a lot of that damage. Repairs to Oak Level Road are underway to prepare for shoulder widening and repaving. Polk Road was recently completed and is a great example of repairs and repaving.

About half of all accidents happen in intersections. By adding roundabouts, dedicated turn lanes, adjusting light timing, and planning for entire travel corridors at once, we can make driving on Bryan County roads as safe and efficient as possible. In the coming years, you will see many upgrades on your route with roundabouts at Oak Level and Belfast Keller, the new high school entrances, and improvements along U.S. 280 from Wilma Edwards Road to U.S. 80. These projects and more are under design and are estimated to begin early next year.

With an expected boom in growth, these projects and TSPLOST funding are more important than ever. I am thankful that you elected me to lead Bryan County through this time of prosperity and I am looking forward to making Bryan County safer to navigate in the process.

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