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TIA Presents to River Valley Citizens Review Panel

By Erica O’Neal, Staff Writer

CORDELE – On Thursday, November 30 the Transportation Investment Act (TIA) program presented their end of the year report and updates on current TIA projects to the River Valley Region. TIA is a referendum passed by Georgia voters back in 2012 within three regions of Georgia: Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), Heart of Georgia Altamaha (HOGA) and River Valley. A Citizens Review Panel was created within each region to monitor the progress of projects funded by the initiative. The referendum approved a 10-year 1% sales tax to fund regional and local transportation improvements. According to TIA’s website, “a total of $1.5 billion in new revenue is expected to be generated and dedicated to transportation improvements in these regions.”

The amount of tax revenue collected so far from all three regions is a little over $650 million with 871 total projects. TIA has completed 419 projects and currently has 73 projects under construction.

Specifically to the River Valley region, there have been 23 total projects on the list so far. The total expenditure as of November 20, 2017 is over $84 million. Four projects have been completed and eight more are under construction currently. TIA Regional Coordinator, Kenneth Franks presented to the River Valley Citizens Panel updates on projects completed, as well as projects still under construction.

The US 27/SR 1 reconstruction and widening project in Randolph County is now completed and open.

The South Georgia Tech Parkway project in Sumter County is adding in a roundabout. The project is 82% complete and slated to finish in spring 2018.

The Custer Road Interchange Project in Muscogee County is 86% complete with construction and will be done by January or February 2018.

     The bridge over Lake Blackshear in Crisp County is on schedule with 22% of construction complete and is expected to finish by May 2019.

     The State Route 103 Passing Lane project in Harris County is just getting started with 2% of construction 

complete. The completion date is set for July 2019.

     The Bickley Road Bridge project in Taylor County is going to replace the current bridge. Construction hasn’t started yet and there will be a 2-3 month delay to make sure that the county is aware that the road will be shut down with a detour.

     State Route 128 over Whitewater Creek in Macon County is one of TIA’s upcoming projects for 2018. The project will cost about $5.5 million, with half of the funds from TIA and the other half provided by the state. The project is to begin in June 2018.

     State Route 224 in Macon County is going to get two lanes added on. The project is set to begin in June 2018 and will cost about $6.9 million.

     State Route 219 will get passing lanes, which starts in Muscogee County and goes through Harris County. The project is going to begin in July 2018 and will cost $17.7 million.

      District Line Road in Sumter County will tie in with the South Georgia Tech Parkway project. It will connect with the roundabout and head south to connect with Highway 280. There will be intersection improvements and the road will be widened. The project is slated to begin in September 2018 and will cost $10 million.

State Route 1/US 27 is a Northbound passing lane project. The project is set to begin in November 2018 and will cost $2.9 million.