Columbia County officials have taken the first step toward receiving federal stimulus funds for road projects.
During a meeting of the Augusta Regional Transportation Study Committee, four intersection improvements on Flowing Wells Road and another on Furys Ferry Road were approved for inclusion on the Transportation Improvement Program.
"In order for us to spend those stimulus dollars ... the projects had to be in that program," said Matt Schlachter, the interim director of the Construction and Maintenance Services Division. "We gave them those projects that we wanted and voted to include them."
The program is open for public review through the Construction and Maintenance office and soon will be sent to the state Department of Transportation for approval.
"Once that TIP is approved, then those projects are eligible for federal money, not just stimulus money, but that's a large part of it," Schlachter said.
If all are approved, turn lanes could be added to intersections on Flowing Wells Road at Pleasant Home Road, Columbia Road, Wheeler Road and the entrance to the Spring Lakes subdivision. Turn lanes also might be added at Hardy McManus and Furys Ferry roads.
Schlachter estimated the cost of the projects at $2.5 million.
"If it's not in the TIP, we can't even try to get stimulus funds," he said. "It's kind of a first step in a long road to get some stimulus money."
Officials should know early next year whether the projects will receive the federal funding. If so, they have until 2012 to complete the work, Schlachter said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.