SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County Police are getting ready for a long summer in terms of traffic control on the way to Tybee Island.
Sunday, an accident on the Bull River bridge brought vehicles to a standstill for several hours while the bridge was cleared.
“It’s bumper to bumper traffic and we’re seeing these rear end crashes more often,” said Captain Nick Ojanovac. “A little fender bender on the bridge creates a big issue because there are only two lanes so we had to clear that out and it took awhile but we did get traffic flowing again.”
For some time, local officials have advocated for a replacement bridge. Georgia Department of Transportation says it has plans in the works and is doing environmental work now. The plan calls for replacing the Bull River Bridge as well as the Lazaretto Bridge. The new structures would offer more side room for bicyclists and emergency lanes.
“That would be important for us to be able to clear off a traffic crash quicker,” said Ojanovac.
However, a new bridge is maybe years down the road and police have to deal with what’s happening now. Police leaders have requested funding in the new fiscal year to start a traffic unit.
“Well, we won’t find out about that until maybe July but we are do have the intentions of starting a traffic unit. In the meantime, I do deploy extra officers on the busy weekends to try to help out with the traffic flow on 80,” said Ojanovac.
He also told us they may consider more ways to appeal to motorists to slow down and pay attention to the car in front of them. Ojanovac says they do need more public awareness that accidents on the narrow bridge can happen quickly.
“The Memorial Day weekend was definitely busy and I see that as a regular occurence,” said Ojanovac. “So now we’re going to be concentrating on that (traffic control) much more.”