A meeting will be held on Thursday, June 22 to discuss proposed changes to re-route traffic from Highway 15 to the Ridge Road Truck Route.
The community gathering is scheduled for 6:00 P.M. in the Sandersville Elementary School Auditorium.
Attendees will include Georgia State Representative of District 128 Mack Jackson, Georgia State Senator of District 26 David Lucas, and Georgia Department of Transportation District Board Member and Representative of Congressional District 12 Greg Morris.
“While we strongly support the removal of heavy trucks from our downtowns by providing trucks with an alternate Truck Route, it is neither necessary nor in the best interest of our community to re-engineer the existing Truck Route to make it the primary route for Highway 15 automobile traffic,” said a statement from ‘WACO Thrives.’
According to their news release, ‘WACO Thrives’ is a “group of citizens and business leaders extremely concerned about the recent Georgia Department of Transportation proposal to remove Highway 15 traffic from Sandersville and Tennille and re-route it to the Ridge Road Truck Route.”
“Our community has supported DOT with tax dollars by voting in favor of the T-SPLOST. We support developmental highways and the expansion of Highway 15 between Interstate 16 and Interstate 20,” states WACO Thrives. “However, our community was adamant that the Truck Route would not be engineered to bypass our downtowns. Unfortunately, this is what DOT is currently proposing.”
As previously reported by WACO 100 in June of 2021, the $24.1 million Sandersville Ridge Road Truck Route was one of the major regional Transportation Investment Act (TIA) projects passed by Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) voters in 2012. The project was fully funded by TIA proceeds.
It included 4.585 miles of lane widening and reconstruction to mark the beginning of a new location of State Route 15 just east of Ridge Road on State Route 242 extending generally along Ridge Road to State Route 15 north of Sandersville. The section consists of four lanes with a raised median from State Route 242 to Sisters Church Creek and four lanes with a flush median from that point to the north end.
Work was also said to feature a new bridge and approaches over the Sandersville Railroad and a multi-lane roundabout at the intersection of the Fall Line Freeway.
“The loss of out-of-town visitors through Sandersville and Tennille will create significant harm to our County through the loss of retail sales, reduced sales tax collections, and lower visibility for our beautiful downtowns. Our local retail businesses will suffer lost sales, which will mean lower SPLOST revenues to support local education, our hospital, our local fire departments, and law enforcement,” WACO Thrives claims. “This lost income, which is generated from out of County through-traffic, will have to be backfilled by the citizens of Washington County through higher property taxes. Every citizen of Washington County will be negatively affected by this DOT proposal if it moves forward.”
Construction activities on Phase 1 of the Sandersville Ridge Road Truck Route began in November of 2018.