EVANS, Ga. (WJBF)- A crowd came to an open house at Riverside Middle School Tuesday night to learn about a proposal to improve and widen Fury’s Ferry Road and give their input, but engineers say the project is years away from construction.
Columbia County’s engineering director Steve Cassell says he hopes the work will be underway by 2019. He says the project will take about two years to complete.
Columbia County has outgrown parts of Fury’s Ferry Road. A project to improve the road was approved back in 2012.
“At the end of the day, it’s a big project,” Cassell said.
That project proposes improving Fury’s Ferry Road, which is also known as Highway 28, along about four miles from the South Carolina state line to Evans to Locks Road. From Evans to Locks to Hardy McManus Road, the project would widen the road from two lanes to four lanes.
Ralph Beene lives in a subdivision along that stretch. He says he’d like to see a traffic light at the entrance to his neighborhood.
“As it is now, during rush hours, you can’t get in and out of the neighborhood unless somebody’s kind enough to let you in and out,” he said.
The plan does include turn lanes throughout the corridor. But Ralph and others are able to submit their suggestions and concerns through comment cards.
Another big feature of the project is a roundabout at the intersection of Fury’s Ferry and Hardy McManus.
“It’s a nightmare around this intersection,” said Porter Fleming, who owns property near the intersection.
People familiar with the area say it’s only an issue during rush hour.
“The fact of the matter is [roundabouts] take away the high impact accidents. And that’s the T-bone,” Cassell said.
He says a roundabout would also be much more efficient.
However, some in the area are worried about the tractor-trailers that go through the intersection using a roundabout.
“I don’t see how that’s going to work with Highway 28 and the tractor-trailer tract that comes up and down it,” Beene said.
But Cassell says they’ve taken that into account, and the speed limit on the roundabout will be 15 miles per hour.
“We will design it for the largest truck allowed on the state route,” Cassell said.
The project also proposes bike lanes and walking trails.
Fury’s Ferry would remain a two-lane roadway north of Hardy McManus.