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Oconee Chairman Wants County to Pay for Median Cut

Photo Credit: Lee Becker

GDOT is widening Mars Hill Road.

Only 2 hours and 14 minutes after learning that the Georgia Department of Transportation had turned down the county’s request for a full median break on Mars Hill Road to accommodate landowner Doug Dickens, Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis turned to “Plan B.”

Davis told commissioners that the county can build the median break when GDOT turns the highway back over to the county.

The county has known about “Plan B” for a long time. In fact it was mentioned in correspondence between Public Works Director Emil Beshara and the members of the Board of Commissioners as early as November of 2011.

But “Plan B” has three drawbacks.

First, the county is going to have to spend more than the $23,000 it expected to pay had GDOT allowed the median break before the widening of Mars Hill Road was completed.

Second, building the full median cut after the new road is open will be more disruptive and dangerous.

Third, there is no guarantee the state is going to turn Mars Hill Road back over to the county when construction is completed.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.