A viable transportation hub is essential to the success of any economy. I have watched through the years as I-16, I-95, the Pooler Parkway, the Jimmy Deloach Parkway, and the enlargement of GA 21 to four lanes occurred in West Chatham and Effingham County. Those projects, along with the final leg of the Jimmy Deloach Parkway into the Port, the Augusta Road project in Effingham County and several still on the drawing board, contingent on the deepening of the port, will further enhance the ingress/egress from our centers of commerce and hopefully increase the number of jobs and the vitality of our area.
One project that I, Representative Purcell and Senator Carter and others have worked on for years, which has not been completed to anyone's satisfaction, is the addition of sufficient exit lanes on I-95 northbound to GA 21. Although one lane has been added, it needs to continue south over the viaduct so that as northbound vehicles, completely oblivious to the possibility of any traffic hazard, top the viaduct and find vehicles backed up from the exit lane, don't run into the rear of the stopped vehicles. There have been several tragic accidents directly attributable to this dangerous situation. The main impediment to fixing this problem is a federal rule requiring emergency lanes. When the viaduct was constructed it consisted of two traffic lanes and an emergency lane. In order to extend a new exit lane over the viaduct there are only two choices. The first and the least expensive would be to pave over the emergency lane and make it an exit lane. However, that violates the federal rule. The second would be to enlarge the bridge to add another lane. In all honesty, I'm not certain as to which is the proper alternative, but I do know that it has to be corrected before more tragedies occur. I will continue to work with the state and federal DOT's to resolve the problem.
Again, if elected, I will work with local and state leaders, and the DOT, to continue to upgrade and maintain our highway networks to make certain commerce moves freely and expediently and the streets and highways are safe and unimpeded for our citizens as they go about their daily business.