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New turn lanes bound for crossroads

Change to help ease traffic backup at busy intersection

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POSTED: June 19, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Julia Harrison/

Rush-hour traffic from Savannah backs up Monday on Highway 17 to turn left onto 144 in Richmond Hill. An additional lane is expected to ease traffic woes.

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Richmond Hill’s busiest intersection will soon be getting a makeover.

The left turn lanes from Highway 17 onto 144 will increase from one to two in both directions, according to Jill Nagel, a district communications officer with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

She said work could start in July though she couldn’t give an exact date.

The DOT considers the upgrade a Quick Response Project, or QRP, a designation for operational upgrades under $200,000.

Nagel said the DOT is in the process of finalizing the contract for the work, but she can’t confirm when construction will begin until the contractor gets notice to proceed.

She said QRPs typically take from 30 to 120 days to complete.

Richmond Hill mayor Harold Fowler said city officials had talked with DOT about improving the intersection for some time. He called the upgrade welcome news.

"Anybody who’s down there in the afternoons knows that traffic really backs up coming out of Savannah, and in the mornings it backs up both ways," he said. "This is something we definitely needed."

The intersection improvement isn’t the only work going on in the immediate area. Also scheduled for completion in July are new traffic signals at Highway 17 and Mulberry Drive.

 

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