Columbia County Republican members fired off several questions Saturday morning to Bill Kuhlke about the Georgia Department of Transportation's plans to install a concrete median along Washington Road.
Larry Long (left) and his wife, Faye, talk to Bill Kuhlke, a board member of the Georgia Department of Transportation in the 9th Congressional District, after the Columbia County Republicans' breakfast meeting.
Photo by Quandra Collins
Kuhlke told members that those in opposition to such a median will have their say soon.
"We have a public hearing March 1, where the state will decide," Kuhkle, a board member of the transportation department in the 9th Congressional District, said at the Republican Party's meeting at Peppermill restaurant in Evans. "We're going to take public comments.''
The DOT's current plan to install a concrete median from the Evans area to Old Washington Road is something several business owners in the area have spoken out against. Columbia County commissioners have asked that the median concept be changed to delete a portion of Washington Road from Owens Road to Ronald Reagan Drive, where a center turn lane was added more than a year ago, and a stretch from Ronald Reagan to near Fieldstone Way, where a center turn lane is planned for in the next few months.
In the end, Kuhlke said the DOT will make the final decision.
"The DOT will determine the safest way to put medians in the road," he said, adding that safety is the DOT's first priority. Still, he conceded that "most people don't want it because they don't want the median in front of their neighborhood or school, which will make it less convenient for them to get in and out of traffic."
Ronnie Hutto, a preconstruction engineer with Columbia County's Public Works Department, said work on a planned extension of the turn lane to Fieldstone Way should begin sometime next month. The project, he said, will cost $167,363.
Concerning Washington Road in Evans, Hutto has said another addition has been approved by the DOT - a left-turn signal on Washington for Sir Galahad Drive. Hutto said his department is awaiting the needed equipment and proper weather for the work to begin.
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