County residents can expect extended lane and full road closures over the next several months as the holiday season approaches.
Glynn County Commissioners approved two major St. Simons Island projects on Thursday — improvements to two intersections on Sea Island Road and a drainage project in the Pier Village.
Commissioners approved $197,485 in spending from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2016 revenue on the two intersections, Hamilton Road and Hamilton Landing Drive at Sea Island Road.
Plans call for the expansion of both intersections to include new turn and merging lanes.
Motorists driving through the area should expect single lane closures, which the contractor will manage with flagmen and signage, Austin said. The road may be closed at some points during construction, he said, and any closures will be announced well in advance.
The road work hasn’t started, as it depends on the contractor finishing another project first.
Commissioners awarded the Sea Island Road intersection widening work to the same contractor currently extending a box culvert on Old Jesup Road where it meets Pepper Creek — Allen Owens Construction and Paving from Waycross.
Initial estimates would see the project complete in around 10 weeks, but Austin said the contractor may finish before that.
Austin said Public Works will try to avoid any overlap between the Sea Island Road project and another one to repave the entire length of Frederica Road.
“Our intent is to ensure that that doesn’t happen,” Austin said. “We want to make sure that happens sequentially.”
It is currently in the design stage, he added and doesn’t have an expected starting date.
The village drainage project is on a separate timeline, and will likely overlap with those two, Austin said.
Glynn County Commissioners approved the drainage project on Thursday, but Austin couldn’t say exactly when it will begin. Given the major impact it will likely have on locals, tourists and shop owners, he said the county will likely hold more meetings with the contractor first.
“We’ve had an initial meeting the island merchants, and we just want to get the contractor in here and discuss how they’re going do it and brief the merchants on the situation,” Austin said. “... Each one of them sometimes do things differently, and we want to see what he’s got planned and marry that up against the holidays.”
The project won’t begin until after village shop owners have been briefed, he said, which he hopes will be sometime next week at the latest.
Sidewalk and asphalt will be turn up in the process of replacing the current drainage system with a larger and more efficient one, he said.
Two closures are already underway on Old Jesup Road.
“There’s two on Old Jesup Road. One of them is the road reconstruction up by Everett, and the other one is the Pepper Creek culvert replacement. They’re both underway,” Austin said.
While the project at Pepper Creek was planned as a replacement, the county later decided to widen the existing box culvert. Upon further inspection, the culvert looked to be in good shape, Public Works Roads and Drainage Division Manager Ben Pierce said in a previous interview with The News.
Further north, near Everett, Old Jesup Road is closed while the county reconstructs the road. The 1.1 miles south of Burnt Island Road will be closed “until finished,” accord to a county news release.
Another closure is planned on Old Post Road between U.S. Highway 82 and Ga. Highway 32. A five-barrel culvert under that section of the road, just north of a railroad crossing, has not lived up to expectations, Austin said.
“That’s an exciting project because that five-barrel metal culvert has failed up there and we need to fix it,” he said.
Most likely, the county will replace the current culvert with a double box culvert. Austin didn’t have an expected start date for the project.
“That (closure is) going to last a little longer, but hopefully it will go in quick,” Austin said.
There’s no convenient detour in that area, he said, but Public Works is looking at sending motorists down Bladen Road to get around the road work.