Washington County moves ahead with Davidson Road paving project

WASHINGTON COUNTY – More than $1 million in funding for the Davidson Road paving project was among line items approved when Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state budget in June.

Washington County Commissioners made the $1,062,627 appropriation request to legislators in January, requesting the funds to pave Davidson Road from the Holmes County line to Douglas Ferry Road

Commissioners say the request for improvements to the road stemmed from safety concerns due to the higher traffic counts seen on the road during the year-long bridge outage on Thomas Drive in Holmes County that required the usage of Davidson Road as a detour route. This route was heavily used by state and county law enforcement as both Holmes Correctional Institution and the Holmes County Jail were located off that detour.

Commissioners explained to legislators that paving the road would provide access from both Washington and Holmes counties to the surrounding residential, commercial, and institutional areas.   

Washington County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tray Hawkins says the county is also in the process of adding a couple hundred acres near Davidson Road to the 79 Corridor. 

“Washington County has some acreage on the road that butts up to the 79 Corridor,” said Hawkins. “If we can get the addition of this land approved to become part of the Corridor map, it would have the distinction of being the only portion of the corridor to have natural gas at this time.” 

According to the appropriation request, the nearly two-mile-long paving project will benefit residents and businesses in both Washington and Holmes Counties. Commissioners listed the benefits as reduced emergency response times across county lines due to paved access to Doctors Memorial Hospital from Washington County; improvement of traffic conditions; and improvement to stormwater management, which will minimize discharge across the roadway and sediment into adjacent wetlands. 

The survey, engineering, and design portion of the project are underway. There is not yet a projected completion date for this project.