Columbia County, GA — Traffic in Grovetown can be a hassle and people driving home during rush hour and taking exit 190 can be frustrated.
Those who live in that part of Columbia County or have driven through there know about the backlog of vehicles along the shoulder of the Interstate 20 where expansion is taking place.
The situation is so bad, some people tell News Channel 6 getting home, picking up kids from school or grabbing a few groceries can be a nightmare.
Cornelius Stone told us that traffic jam played a huge factor in his move to Harlem instead of Grovetown. “30 minutes for a five minute drive,” he said.
“I think it’s going to take like a fatality before they actually change it and upgrade it,” another resident said.
“At times I had to make a soccer game in Grovetown and it’s just hectic coming from Columbia County to get to that point,” said James Vinson, who lives in Martinez.
We sat down with the local chairman of Georgia Department of Transportation to find out if there is a solution to the madness. He told us it is.
“The widening of Lewiston Road is to take place from I-20 back to Columbia Road,” Don Grantham said.
The District 12 Chairman added GDOT will work with Columbia County to add two to three lanes at the Grovetown exit into Columbia County as it takes the lead on the roughly $30 million project. A penny of the eight percent sales tax voters in the CSRA opposed in 2012 pumps dollars into the Transportation Investment Act or TIA.
Columbia County Engineer Matt Schlachter added it takes time since Lewiston Road is a state highway. “Columbia County just recently took over that project from the state. We’ll start design hopefully by January. We will be spending the money designing and buying right of way up until 2018. The money right now that GDOT is providing us through the TIA will be available to us in 2019 for construction,” he explained.
But one resident told us, “I think that’s too late. Especially with NSA growing.”
“A WalMart goes up in two months, but it takes a couple years to get repaired or for a road to be improved? Not for the amount of money that they’re getting from people,” Stone said.
Schlachter said when everything is done it will look a little like Furys Ferry Road with two lanes in each direction and right turn lanes when needed. Until 2019, leaders want you drivers to be safe.