It’s a long awaited project to help ease traffic troubles along I-95. The state officially pledged $44 million for the new Effingham Parkway.
It’s a two lane road which will run from where Wood’s Seafood is on Highway 30 to Blue Jay road in Rincon.
Also in the works, additional lanes on Highway 21 – and a 3 lane diamond interchange at the junction of I-95 and Highway 21.
“44 million dollars (whoo)”
Its a day Ann Purcell, Bill Hitchens and many local legislators have been waiting for since 1998.
The day the Effingham Parkway became a reality.
“There will be three lanes coming north on 95 that will be turning north on 21. Widen Highway 21 up to Georgia 30,” explained Bill Hitchens, Georgia District 161 Representative.
“Its the best news we’ve had in this area in many many years,” said Vera Jones, Effingham County Commissioner.
Effingham County Commissioner Vera Jones says it’s news and a road years in the making.
A population increase of 91% since 2001 has meant more cars and more traffic hassles and time for a change.
“If we have one accident on that road,” says Jones, “It can kind of shut down everyone trying to leave that place and make them late for a couple hours.”
Hours that can cost drivers time, and the area even more money.
That’s where the Effingham Parkway comes in, a two lane road moving some of the truck traffic to and from the Port, away from 21 to Highway 30 and back to the Interstate.
“The state is not going to put out that money just to benefit one county because there are too many needs and all counties have great needs. But they realize its a regional benefit,” explained Jones.
The state money is there now. The next step, a $6.5 million plan to make I-95 and Highway 21 intersection a shining “diamond”.
A first of its kind design in Savannah, leading to a better traffic flow and a better commute.
“20 years from now i’ll be able to tell my grandchildren i had some type of hand in that project,” smiles Jones.
So the big question is when will shovel hit dirt and construction started?
Jones can’t give an exact date yet, but says now that the money is there the hardest part is over.
And by moving the project from Federal to the State, the timetable has been moved up.
The Georgia DOT has promised to deliver both projects as well as an expanded I-16/I-95 intersection starting in early 2017.
We’ll tell you as soon as there’s an exact start date.