BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – Traffic lights have been erected on Highway 280 to address traffic concerns in front of the Hyundai Metaplant.
Jill Nagel, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), says the goal is to increase safety at the entrance — but it is temporary.
“The temporary lights are expected to be in place for about six months,” Nagel said. “This interim traffic operation is to keep traffic moving smoothly and enhance safety in this area.”
The entrance is located near Interstate 16 between Aspen Lane and Olive Branch Road in northern Bryan County.
Tracy Walden-Stafford lives in the Whispering Pines neighborhood on Aspen Lane. She says not much has changed.
“The traffic flow is the same,” Walden-Stafford told News 3. “The only thing the lights have done is replaced the actual manpower – officers. But it’s still back up a mile or so down the road in peak hours. And now, we simply can’t turn left at all from our neighborhood.
“I don’t think people expect the light right there at all. At least when the officers were there, there was blue flashing lights. That made people pay attention.”
Walden-Stafford has also had issues with big trucks pulling into the Whispering Pines neighborhood, where drivers thought the entrance was. She says the issue hasn’t improved either.
“Since the light’s been on, we’ve had a truck that actually got out and moved our sign that said ‘no trucks’ out of the way, so he could come down here and deliver something to us,” Walden-Stafford said.
The project also includes widening Highway 280, adding two roundabouts at the I-16 ramps and adding a roundabout at Oracal Parkway, Dillon Drive and the new I-16 Frontage Road. A new interchange at I-16 and Old Cuyler Road is also being constructed.
News 3 reached out to the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office for comment. Spokesperson Jennifer Fleming released the following statement:
Recently the Georgia Department of Transportation erected a traffic light at the entrance of the Meta Site. We are hopeful this device will help in controlling the flow of traffic in the safest manner. We have been meeting with GDOT about ways to help traffic run smoothly and one proposed method would be to extend the time of the left turn signal light. Our deputies will continue to assist with directing traffic in the morning hours as that is the heaviest time of travel through that area. We will continue to assist the GDOT in any manner requested. We still need travelers entering that area to remain vigilant as the traffic has increased congestion from local and construction traffic at certain times of the day.