To review the proposed projects associated with the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program click here.
Dozens of residents attended a Georgia Department of Transportation open house Tuesday in Jefferson to learn more about federally funded projects planned for the area.
The purpose of the open house was to let residents know what projects are being proposed as a part of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, which is a four-year transportation and capital improvements program for rural counties. Areas that fall under STIP includes Jackson, Dawson, Lumpkin, Habersham and White counties.
“The big thing here is that because of the funding crisis, there isn’t as much work being done as we would like,” said Teri Pope, GDOT spokeswoman. “There are many more needs than there is funding.”
According to Pope, the majority of the STIP projects that are being proposed for Jackson County fall under bridge replacements, railroad crossing improvements and traffic signal upgrades.
“Most of the bridges in this area were built more than 50 years ago, so they are entering their last leg of usefulness,” said Pope. “The upgrades involve bringing them up to current standards by doing things like adding shoulders to the bridges, which gives drivers a safe place to pull over if necessary.”
Because project-related revenue has been down over the past few fiscal years, Pope says the current STIP projects are only a proposal and are not set in stone.
“Right now, our revenue is down 18 percent over last year, so the projects are proposals based on current revenue levels, however that could possibly change in the future,” she said.
Several of the proposed projects for Jackson County include a streetscape project in Maysville, bridge rehabilitation projects along Interstate 85 and two local access roads in Jefferson.
Pope says the STIP plans are updated every year and available for review online.