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Posted: December 21, 2013 10:00 p.m.

A head-scratcher

County commissioners voted this week to move forward with the relocation of Alcovy Trestle Road where it meets Ga. Highway 11 and sometimes causes confusion for south-bound drivers trying to take the westbound Interstate 20 ramp at exit 98.

This road project, which will move the road to avoid confusion, has been in the works for several years, so we don’t fault the board for trying to see it through to completion. But we agree with Commissioner John Douglas and others who believe this was a poor way to spend road money, as the entire project is expected to cost around $750,000.

We credit Commission Chairman Keith Ellis for working to stretch our county road dollars further, including getting $200,000 in state money for this relocation. However, we wish we could have seen the opportunity cost of this project.

What road project, or projects, did it replace or delay?

On Tuesday, Commissioner Douglas was the lone commissioner to against moving forward with engineering work for the project.

He told us "that the problem would be easily solved by moving the Interstate entrance signs to the other side of the entrance ramp, rather than having them between the ramp and Alcovy Trestle Road," but said the Georgia Dept. of Transportation said such a move isn’t allowed under state regulations.

Douglas’ solution makes some sense and, if nothing else, should have been discussed to see if any other similar alternatives could work. Surely, the county’s transportation staff had these discussions, but the public wasn’t privy, so we don’t have the answers.

Was this road project pressing? If not, maybe the county would have been better off asking state legislators to see about getting the sign regulations changed.

We’re happy for the residents of the area and unsuspecting travelers who will be able to avoid inconvenience, but we doubt that the inconvenience merited a $750,000 fix. Completing projects is good, but we just want to make sure priorities are in the right place.

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