The Union Recorder

Local News

August 8, 2013

GDOT explains tricky road situations

MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) answered questions from the Baldwin County Commissioners during Tuesday's regular board meeting about differences between the county and GDOT road systems.

Bryan Haines did his best to explain the interdependence concerning traffic signals, speed limits, maintenance and signage.

Commissioner Sammy Hall, District 3, made light of the relationship.

“It's the county's road up until we want to do something to it,” Hall said. “They tell us what to put up, and we pay for it.”

• No surprise funding is down

The level of GDOT service operations continues dropping for most Georgia cities and counties.

Haines said the department is cutting back on mowing. 

“A lot of the cities and counties are actually approaching GDOT now with entering into a maintenance agreement with the department, and the department is paying some of the local governments to do what we consider minor maintenance on state routes,” he said Tuesday. “The city or county could either do it with their own resources or farm it out to a private contractor in order to increase that level of service.”

Commissioner Johnny Westmoreland, District 5, asked about the GDOT contract with Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) for roadway work.

“We pay 51 inmate crews for various roadway activities,” Haines said. “You typically have one inmate crew per four to five counties. We barely afford to do that. That's another cutting item we are scrutinizing as we speak.”

Typically, the crews respond to sight distance complaints and cutting curves, but they can't handle the state demand.

• New traffic signals

“It's a logical process,” the GDOT rep said. “Emotion is not part of it.”

GDOT looks at statewide accidents and fatalities when considering this action. 

Cities and counties must help if they are concerned. Haines said local governments could pay for a traffic study to send the department.

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