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Weigh in on road widening
Public hearing on Highway 67 project will be held on Aug. 16
W Georgia DOT

    The public can have its say on a proposed project to widen a long stretch of Georgia Highway 67, one of Bulloch County’s thoroughfares.
    The Georgia Department of Transportation has scheduled a public hearing from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 16 in the Bulloch County Annex community room.
    “State Route 67 serves as a primary route for traffic traveling between Statesboro and I-16 and as a direct link between two major employers, Georgia Southern University and Fort Stewart.  In 2009, this project was identified as a priority by the Bulloch County/City of Statesboro Long Range Transportation Plan, which recommended widening to four lanes,” said Jill Nagel, the spokeswoman for the DOT’s District 5, which takes in southeast Georgia.
    Plans are to widen Highway 67 to four -- and in some stretches, five -- lanes from Interstate 16 to close to Veterans Memorial Parkway. 
    Almost 11 miles of the road will be affected, and where it will expand to four lanes, there will be a 32-foot depressed median.
    The five-lane stretches will include a turn lane. Bike lanes are also planned – 6-foot, 5-inch paved shoulders in rural areas and 4-foot lanes in the urban area, according to DOT’s public notice of the hearing.
    “At the public information open house … we will have large maps of the entire project,” Nagel said.
    There will be no formal presentation at the hearing, but someone will be present to answer questions, she said.
    The project will be 80 percent federally funded and 20 percent state funded, she said.
    Had voters approved the 1 percent transportation sales tax proposal, also known as TSPLOST, it likely would have paid much of the cost to state taxpayers.  Because voters across the 10-county Coastal Region, including Bulloch County, rejected the TSPLOST during the general primary Tuesday, state funding that will be used for this project will leave others on the waiting list or to be funded by other means.
    In anticipation of the TSPOST passing, local officials in each region made lists of  transportation projects that could have been funded by the additional revenue generated. These included improvements to roads, bridges, railways, ports, and airports. The widening of Highway 67 was one of four Bulloch County projects on the list.
   
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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