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Glynn County's rough roads not getting better
Glynn County Commissioner Richard Strickland knows all too well about the stretch of U.S. 17 that can be dangerous for drivers.

It's in his District 3, and he gets frequent complaints about speeders and reckless drivers that traverse the six-mile, two-lane stretch from Yacht Road to Ga. 99.

The latest fatality claimed the life of a 68-year-old man in May 2011, during rush hour.

"It's pretty much a constant complaint," Strickland said. "The community realizes it needs to be widened. We get a lot of traffic on that north end in busy times."

In addition to increased traffic from residential growth, particularly in the area of Harry Driggers Boulevard, the highway is a primary route for buses carrying students to three schools and for residents from Darien who commute to Glynn County daily.

But with the funding for the widening of the highway lost in the failed Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax vote in 2011, the project is far from seeing the light of day.

While the county receives Georgia Department of Transportation funding for small projects, it is not enough for a large project such as the widening of U.S. 17.

"There's never been the funds for it," Strickland said. "It's always been a concern, and it's on the list of projects to complete, but it takes a long time and a lot of money."

Money funded and matched from GDOT for roadwork goes toward resurfacing rough areas, the addition of turn lanes and shoulder areas.

The traffic capacity of U.S. 17 is small for the volume it sees, and that can be dangerous in busy times, said David Hainley, director of Glynn County Community Development.

He said the loss of T-SPLOST doesn't mean the end of needed projects like the U.S. 17 widening but concedes it will take more time to complete them. The 1 percent sales tax was to be disbursed to counties and cities in the coastal region, including millions of dollars for Glynn County.

Even with the defeat of T-SPLOST, Strickland said the county continues to work on the proposed four-laning of U.S. 17 from Yacht Road to Ga. 99.

"With all of the growth we've seen, it's a dangerous road to carry all of that traffic," he said.

Old Jesup Road, another two-lane highway that was once scheduled for widening, will be the target of small projects to help alleviate the traffic.

"We had a preliminary design to widen all of it, but the public didn't like it because of utility and property conflict," Hainley said. "But we will widen some intersections bit by bit in areas."

Next on the county's list is the intersection of Old Jesup and Old Cyprus Mill roads.

"It's been approved for turn lanes and that should help some of the traffic there," Hainley said.

The next major road project is the piece by piece widening of Spur 25 from the Glynn County Public Safety Complex to Ga. 99.

"We hope GDOT will bid that out in March, and it will start after then," Hainley said.

For other failed T-SPLOST projects, the county doesn't have a plan B.

"We have a much longer time frame without T-SPLOST," Hainley said.

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