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BRYAN COUNTY, GA – FEBRUARY 19, 2021 – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp paid a visit Wednesday to Bryan County, where he tried out the new Interstate 95/Belfast Keller interchange for the first time. He then chatted with local leaders and business owners about the significance of the new infrastructure as well as its economic and growth implications.

Kemp participated in a small business roundtable discussion, moderated by Rep. Ron Stephens, at the Bryan County Administrative Complex on Capt. Matthew Freeman Dr. He talked with representatives from Coastal Electric, McDonald’s, Rayonier and RE/MAX Accent as well as local leaders, dignitaries, and elected officials, including GDOT State Transportation Board Member Ann Purcell, Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, Sheriff Mark Crowe, Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter, Development Authority of Bryan County CEO Anna Chafin, Richmond Hill City Council members Robbie Ward and Steve Scholar, Bryan County Engineering Department Director Kirk Croasmun, Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher, Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor, and Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce CEO Kathryn Johnson.

The participants discussed the importance of the interchange, which officially opened last month and has already begun to improve traffic flow and motorists’ safety. In addition, the newly created exit on the Interstate 95 corridor is expected to generate additional economic opportunities and draw new business to the area.

Kemp was generous with praise for the county and the widespread collaborative efforts it took to get the $19 million interchange project in place.

“These partnerships with the department of transportation, the great leadership we have there with Russell McMurry and his team, the legislative partners like (Rep.) Ron Stephens, the county’s local government, the mayor, the chairman, councils, commissioners, the great job the school board is doing educating the future workforce, and the business community and chamber working with economic development partners – Bryan County really has everything you need right here. I’m so optimistic about this region’s potential in the future, and I’m just glad to be here,” the governor said. “The sky is the limit from here. Not just for Bryan County, but for this whole area.”

Following the roundtable discuss, Kemp held a brief press conference and took questions from media outlet representatives and journalists in attendance. He touched briefly on a variety of topics brought up by journalists, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, possible absentee voting legislation, and the ways in which local infrastructure improvements – like the new interchange – matter at a state level and beyond.

Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger thanked Kemp for all the support he has offered Bryan County and encouraged the local business owners and operators in attendance to share their insights on how the interchange and other infrastructural upgrades will positively affect the region’s growth and economic climate.

“I think this was a great opportunity for some of our area business people and local employers to talk to the governor about the changes they see happening here and their expectations for the future. It’s important that Gov. Kemp hears these things from individual county governments and communities so he understands what a big impact it has on us when the state is willing to work with us, help fund projects and assist us in planning,” Infinger said.

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