The Georgia Department of Transportation is looking for the public's input on detour options during a planned road upgrade project for Appling-Harlem Highway and Scott's Ferry Road.
The public meeting is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria of North Columbia Elementary School, 2874 Ray Owens Road in Appling.
"It is just mainly so we can let the public know that in the future we will be closing the road and finding out from them what we might can do to make it easier on them," said Christa McKinney, a planning and programming engineer for the department's Tennille District office.
The project, not slated to begin until 2010, includes adding passing lanes and a median to Appling-Harlem Highway from Interstate 20 to Appling, with improvements at the intersection with Columbia Road.
Part of Scott's Ferry Road will need to be closed to add a northbound passing lane between Appling and Pollard's Corner.
"It is trying to stay ahead of the growth," said Kevin Lear, the director of Columbia County's Construction and Maintenance Division.
Though those roads do not have heavy traffic now, Lear said the volume is expected to increase by 2010 because of possible housing developments in the area. The construction project is designed to be preventive instead of reactive.
"We did the same thing out on Washington Road some time ago, put in passing lanes out there for the future, and they have worked out real good out there toward Pollard's Corner," Lear said. "(This project) is just to improve the traffic flow and also minimize accidents from people trying to pass in heavy volume."
No formal presentation will be made at the meeting, so residents are encouraged to drop by between 5 and 7 p.m. to view the proposed detour routes, ask questions of DOT representatives and make comments about the project and detour plans.
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