Drivers had a slow commute this morning after coastal flooding closed highway 80 and delayed the opening of Maritime Academy and Fort Pulaski.
But, city leaders say they are working with the Georgia Department of Transportation on road improvements that would help decrease those closures.
By spring of this year, GDOT will be adding eight inches of asphalt to the low lying areas along Highway 80. The added pavement will help prevent water levels up to 10.4 feet from flooding the road.
“I mean this project should have been done 30 years ago honestly it’s just a matter of dealing with all the environmental permits, all the issues with the Federal Government, eating up marshland and things of that nature. It’s extraordinarily frustrating,” said Jason Buelterman, Mayor of Tybee Island.
Buelterman is talking about the Georgia Department of Transportation’s 112-million-dollar Bridge Replacement Project.
In addition to two new bridges, each with breakdown lanes and bike paths along the causeway, GDOT is also planning to add eight inches of pavement to low lying areas.
“Eight inches means essentially the road wouldn’t flood until the tides got to about 10.4 feet, which is very very uncommon. The one today got to about 9.8 Or 9.9, which was exceptionally high. We are pretty confident that getting it to 10.4 feet would make sure we don’t have any issues unless it was an extreme situation like a hurricane,” said Buelterman.
The road paving was originally supposed to be completed last fall, but the contractor was tied up with another project on 1-16.
“There is a lot of work being done to make sure the design and the environmental permits are ready. We just have to get the county leaders and the DOT to push the money into the project so it can get done,” said Buelterman.
They have already started drilling holes into the ground for that bridge replacement project, but Mayor Buelterman said the real work won’t begin until funding comes through. News 3 will continue to keep you updated on these projects.