TIFTON -- Additional Department of Transportation funding secured for local road work will keep more local Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax moneys in the bank for future needs.

Roger Dill, Tift County's interim manager, said Monday that interim DOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl has agreed to fund an additional $150,000 of county road work expenses.

"He (Linnenkohl) was gracious enough to award this money and it means that $150,000 won't have to come from SPLOST," Dill said.

The DOT did not grant the previous request for $125,000 to resurface almost four miles of Ty Ty-Omega Road. In addition to recently approving that request, the DOT also agreed to award an additional $25,000 for more leveling on Ferrylake Road.

Roads and Public Works Director Harry Doss said Tuesday that resurfacing of Ty Ty-Omega Road is a county-funded project with state assistance and not a DOT Larp-funded project. Ross of Georgia has been awarded the Ty Ty-Omega and Salem Church roads resurfacing projects. Leveling of Salem Church Road has been completed and Ross of Georgia will resurface that road as soon as possible. Doss said the leveling of Ty Ty-Omega Road is next on the agenda.

The Ferry Lake Road, a DOT-funded LARP project for 4.36 miles, has been awarded to Reeves Construction Company.

"As rough as the road was, we made a request and they gave us a little more money to put in some more leveling," Doss said.

Dill said the work on Ferry Lake Road should be completed by Christmas.

Bryan said the work to add a concave to the road for better drainage will help prevent cars from hydroplaning in wet weather.

Dill said the county has received complaints that the intersection of New River Church and Ferry Lake roads is dangerous to drivers. Dill said the DOT is studying the intersection and may make changes in signaling.

Dill said hopes are that the DOT will fund an updated transportation study on the proposed truck route. The last study was conducted in February of 2000.

"Some of the traffic patterns on U.S. 82 have changed and they (DOT) have agreed to possibly come back the first of next year with some consulting funds to update the study with the city and the county," Dill said.

Dill said he doesn't anticipate major changes in the plan.

The proposed truck route runs from Albany on U.S. 82 and crosses in the Excelsior area and then over to the area of Hall Road. From there, the route would continue to the Tifton-Eldorado Road and north to Tri-County Gas Road. It would follow that road parallel to new River Church Road and follow U.S. Highway 319 into Ocilla. The truck route would tie U.S. Highway 319 north and south and U.S. Highway 82 east and west.

Dill said a new study may "speed up the process" to complete the truck route, which isn't expected for completion until 2007. The DOT is expected to rule on the feasibility of the Oakridge Church interchange within a month.

Dill reported to commissioners during October session that he would visit with Linnenkohl in an effort to seek the additional funding.

"You have to let the needs be known," Bryan said. "They (DOT) aren't going to call you up and give it to you."



To contact reporter Angie Thompson, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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