If a road has safety issues, a highway needs improvements anywhere in South Georgia, then William P. "Billy" Langdale is the man to call.
At 82, Langdale is the youngest brother of Harley Langdale, Jr., the family patriarch who is still running the many arms of the Langdale Company at the age of 89.
Langdale says he has always left the family forestry business to Harley, who in turn let him concentrate on public service. He served for years as the Chairman of the Lowndes County Commission, making road improvements his top priority. "I paved 150 miles of roads during my time and it didn't cost the county a nickel for right of ways. People just signed them over to Lowndes County."
He learned so much about roads and highways and about how to get things done that Langdale decided to lend his experience on a state wide level, and is now in his 16th year on the Georgia Department of Transportation board, serving as the representative of the 2nd Congressional District. He says simply, "My mission is to improve transportation in South Georgia."
During his tenure, major improvements have been made to Highway 84, a number of smaller state highways including Bemiss Road in front of Moody AFB, and especially to Interstate 75, which is now being six-laned to the county line.
Langdale's next big project is the four-laning of Highway 133 between Valdosta and Albany. He is already hard at work on behalf of a number of citizens living along the highway to try and address their concerns.
"I'm as far up the totem pole as they can get to have anybody that will talk to them. It's the little things I can help on--the procedural things," he says. "I like helping somebody that can't help themselves."
Only one year into his fifth five-year term, Langdale is showing no signs of slowing down and travels extensively to Atlanta, around the state and South Georgia to study the various transportation issues and to see how he can be of benefit.
"Being in the middle of all this gives me more joy than anything else I could do."
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