More than $41 million in road projects are under way or will soon get started in Columbia County.
County commissioners last week approved a resolution to start accepting donations of easements to widen Washington Road to five lanes, including a center-turn lane, from Gibbs Road to William Few Parkway.
The widening project, budgeted at $26 million, also includes the construction of sidewalks and bike lanes, according to an e-mail from county Construction and Maintenance Services Director Matt Schlachter.
Schlachter said he also is working on a plan to relocate utilities for that project.
Already under way are about $480,000 worth of improvements to the intersection of Hardy McManus and Furys Ferry roads. Those improvements include adding turn lanes and realigning the intersection.
Bids to improve the intersection at Hereford Farm, Cox and Gibbs roads should be let by March, Schlachter said. Budgeted for that project is $3 million.
Officials had considered a traffic circle for that intersection, but decided against it.
In June, Schlachter hopes to bid out improvements to Lewiston Road at William Few Parkway. The $1.8 million budgeted for that project might include a traffic signal, if the state Department of Transportation gives its OK.
Schlacther said his staff is working on the design and hopes to submit it to DOT early next year. The county might start acquiring rights-of-way by April.
Going out to bid early next year is a $350,000 project to build sidewalks on Oakley Pirkle Road.
While many of these projects might soon get started, a plan to beautify the intersection of Washington and Columbia roads recently suffered a delay.
Commissioners rejected bids to conduct the work on that intersection. The bids received by the county contained multiple errors that pushed the project over its budget, Schlachter said.
Now, the project must be rebid, which will delay the work.
Officials also are waiting to start the long-planned extension of William Few Parkway north to Hardy McManus Road.
Officials need a re-evaluation on documents by the state Environmental Protection Division to start the $8.5 million project. Still, Schlachter said, officials are moving forward with right-of-way acquisitions.