By moving a private sewer line, the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission will be paving the way for a wider U.S. 17.

The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to widen the road to four lanes from Yacht Road to Harry Driggers Boulevard due to the number of traffic collisions and because the road is designated a hurricane evacuation route.

GDOT spokeswoman Jill Nagel said the department will put the project out to bid in June 2021 and construction could begin in the last quarter of the same year.

All-in-all, the work is expected to cost around $30 million.

No detours will be necessary during construction, she said. The new lane will be completed before the old one is closed for reconstruction, allowing continuous traffic flow.

The speed limit on the highway will remain the same following the expansion, Nagel added.

That stretch of widening is not the only project on the agenda for U.S. 17. Nagel said the department plans to put out to bid a roundabout at the intersection of Ga. 99 and U.S. 17 for contract award in 2022. A project to widen U.S. 17 from Ga. 99 to Harry Driggers Boulevard is slated for 2025.

Estimates provided in GDOT documents for pre-construction work, acquiring the necessary right-of-way, construction and utility work for the second widening project come out at about $23.1 million.

The JWSC’s role will take no longer than two months and cost around $7,500, said JWSC Engineering Director Todd Kline.

One of the few remaining hangups is a private sewer system a little too close to the road. In cooperation with Glynn County, the utility will install a new sewer main along U.S. 17. In exchange for an easement for the main, the owner of the private sewer system has been guaranteed access to JWSC’s public system, although he will still pay a tap-in fee.

It’s a good deal, said JWSC Executive Director Andrew Burroughs. Two mobile home parks on U.S. 17 — Cabana Court and Golden Shores — will have access to the public sewer system, the utility will get more customers and the GDOT will get its right-of-way.

In other business, the commission voted to spend $3,750 on Christmas gift cards for employees, agreed to take over sewer assets in the Covington Point neighborhood and the Legacy Apartments complex and approved a supplemental retirement plan for the director.

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