The county of Effingham is planning more upgrades to its infrastructure. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg gave his blessing to the Safe Streets and Roads Grant (SS4A), an initiative designed to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries by $200,000. The money will be used to implement the county’s Greenway Trail Action Plan, which prioritises pedestrian safety.
“I think it’s really important,” said Effingham County Commissioner Jamie DeLoach, who represents District 3.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me about bike trails throughout the community in different districts. I think this will be an opportunity where we can actually have the money to put together a proper plan for bike trails. This will be something to add to our recreation program that will be good for the community.”
Communities that either haven’t developed a road safety plan yet or would like to improve upon an existing one can apply for SS4A grants to help them do so.
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“It’s the action plan grant, so basically we are saying that we have this vision (for trails) and what are the actions that we need to identify, follow up and make it a reality,”
explained Ryan Thompson, Land Planning/Landscape Architecture Manager at Thomas and Hutton.“It will be a countywide plan”. Thanks to a grant from the GDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), 1.5 miles of sidewalk will be built in Guyton, allowing residents easier access to local institutions of learning and commerce.
The money will be used for designing and planning the system. According to Guyton’s mayor, any measure that makes it easier for pedestrians to get around town is a good one.
“We are at the intersection of two state highways,” said Deen. “A significant amount of commerce traffic goes through and keeping people from not having to walk on the street is important. You have to have walkability. We want to be safe. We don’t want folks to have to walk on roads or beside roads without a paved path. These sidewalks will potentially save lives.”
A manufacturing facility for Sewon America is currently being built in Rincon, just up the road. The automotive supplier plans to invest $300 million in the plant, creating over 700 new jobs in the region. There is a growing number of suppliers coming to the area to serve the Hyundai factory. The year 2025 has been set as the start of production.