Baldwin County officials prioritized this week a list of road projects they plan to complete if a 1-cent transportation sales tax is approved by voters later this year.
“When I went to the executive meeting of the [T-SPLOST] roundtable, we set a schedule of trying to get [a T-SPLOST referendum] onto the ballot in November,” said Baldwin County Commission chairman Sammy Hall during commission planning session held Thursday. “One of the things they suggested is that we prioritize our projects. We had sent a list of projects in to the [Middle Georgia] Regional Commission [in Macon] as we were requested to do, but everybody realizes that we probably won’t get all of these projects, and they asked that we prioritize at least the first four. …”
From a list of nine potential projects ranging from the purchase of new transit vans to widening some of the county’s main thoroughfares, commissioners set out to list the projects’ ‘wish-list’ in order of importance with the help of county engineer Brian Wood.
Wood told commissioners back in April that $17.3 million worth of projects had been submitted to the Regional Commission on behalf of Baldwin County.
After a brief discussion about increased traffic into the county from the newly built Fall Line Freeway officials ranked Kings Road safety enhancements from Ga. Route 22/24 to state Route 24 as the most pressing transportation need.
The safety improvements, which carry an estimated cost of $2.2 million, edged out the widening plans for Log Cabin and Meriwether Roads, which carry estimated costs of $6.1 and $5.1 million, respectively.
A plan to widen Allen Memorial Drive to three lanes from the 441 Highway bypass to state Route 49 came in fourth, while the widening and strengthening plan to Stembridge Road from state Route 22/24 to the Fall Line Freeway rounded out the top-5.
Other projects discussed included resurfacings on Vinson and Gordon highways and purchasing a new fuel truck for the Baldwin County airport.
“On Log Cabin we have 100 feet of right-of-way, so there’s plenty of room to increase it to four lanes,” said Wood. “Meriwether Road has 80 feet of right-of-way, so we have room to increase it to three lanes. On King’s Road, the data I got from the sheriff’s department showed it being the most dangerous road in the county — it had the most accidents. The safety enhancements there would be cutting back vegetation and widening the road a couple of feet, and also to widen Stembrige Road. We have the right-of-way to do all this.”
1) King's Road Safety Enhancements $2,281,130.45
(From SR 22/24 to SR 24 - 5.2 miles)
2) Log Cabin Road Widening to 4 Lanes $6,110,514.20
(From SR 441 to North Jefferson - 3 miles)
3) Meriwether Road Widening to 3 Lanes $5,120,254.40
(From SR 441 to SR 212 – 4.9 miles)
4) Allen Memorial Road Widening to 3 Lanes $2,037,719.76
(From SR 441 Bypass to SR 49 – 1.5 miles)
5) Stembridge Road Widening and Strengthening $1,489,909.70
(From SR 22/24 to Fall Line Freeway – 3.55 miles)
6) Vinson Highway/112 Resurfacing $1,968,521.95
(From S Wayne Street to cul-de-sac – 5.55 miles)
7) Gordon Highway/243 Resurfacing $1,540,969.79
(From SR 441 Bypass to County Line – 6.18 miles)
8) 2 New Transit Vans $150,000.00
9) Fuel Truck for Baldwin County Airport $220,000.00