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Whos holding up Bypass paving company
Biz moore-cam
Jan Moore
    Let's say a couple of hearty travelers from the North are driving through Statesboro for the first time on their way to Savannah. Like most, they exit Highway 80 on the west side of town opting to take the bypass.
    "Isn't this great," they say to one another. Lovely pine trees and not much traffic on this four lane highway. They notice that things begin to change once they cross over Country Club Road. They are suddenly caught in a drag race with a couple of college kids and become airborne when they hit the railroad tracks just before the intersection of Highway 301 South and the bypass.
    The man, who is busy wishing he was the lucky son-of-a-gun that owned the large tract for sale on the northeast corner of the intersection, misses the sign saying "Savannah to the right," and proceeds to take his and his wife's lives into his own hands as he zooms up the hill not realizing it's merge into one lane or die.
    They have just entered the stretch of the bypass between Highway 301 South and Highway 67 rapidly becoming known as one the dumbest and most dangerous two lane roads in Bulloch County.
    Which brings me to my topic today. When are they going to pave the additional two lanes of the bypass between Highway 301 South and Highway 301 North making it four lanes all of the way around?
    All kidding aside, with two new apartment complexes on the verge of opening and steady new commercial development feeding into it, traffic on this stretch of the bypass is becoming a serious issue.
    As many of you know, the Georgia Department of Transportation put the paving of the remaining lanes of the bypass out to bid last summer. The contract was awarded to Douglas Asphalt in Douglas, Ga. The terms of the contract were such that the bid winner was supposed to have started work on the project this past September. Stating the obvious, nothing has been done to date. So, what's up?
    I asked local resident, Raybon Anderson, who is the Georgia DOT board member representing the twelfth district (ours), to tell me the status of the project. Believe or not, he was actually glad that I called him. You see, according to Anderson, he is asked this same question almost every day.
    "Concerned citizens call me all of the time asking what is going on with the bypass, why hasn't paving begun on the remaining lanes," Anderson said. "I tell them that the bid was awarded to Douglas Asphalt in good faith, and they haven't done what they were supposed to do."
    "There is a process that the department must follow when a contractor does not fulfill his obligations," he said. "That is aggressively being done."
Sherry Deal, a spokesman for the Georgia DOT in Jesup, said Anderson is correct.
    "Douglas Asphalt has not honored the terms of the bid and we are in talks with them and their bonding company," Deal said. "We are working diligently to solve this situation. However, right now, I can't tell you when work on the road will begin."
    The lucky son-of-a-gun who owns the aforementioned tract, local real estate broker, Robert Tanner, has been involved with the sale of and lists many of the commercial properties on this leg of the bypass. He said the traffic on this stretch has become a real hazard and in some cases has stalled additional development.
    "It's just awful," Tanner said. "That's the only way I know to describe it. I can't imagine what it is going to be like when those two new apartment complexes open. I know for a fact that some development has been put on hold until the additional lanes are paved and new traffic lights have been installed."
    As you may have guessed, the folks at Douglas Asphalt did not return my phone calls to give their side of the story.
    Much to the chagrin of many, it looks like it might be awhile before paving begins. Thanks a lot Douglas Asphalt.  
    Until next week, I bid adieu.
    Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or e-mail her at jmoore@statesboroherald.net