Evans, GA – Several road construction projects are slated for Richmond and Columbia Counties and you may have seen other projects have already started. Georgia Department of Transportation held a briefing Tuesday at the Columbia County Government Center. DOT District 12 Chairman Don Grantham and other DOT officials joined Transportation Investment Act leaders and engineering staff in Richmond and Columbia Counties. The group laid out plans for TIA projects under construction and those projects starting. Grantham told the group he shares in the frustration of torn up roads getting in the way of drivers trying to get to their destinations.
“Good to know that we have projects going on between our two counties that delay some people from getting to where they need to be when they want to be,” he shared.
It may seem like a mess now, but traveling in the CSRA will soon be a breeze. The work is GDOT’s Transportation Investment Act in progress. Projects already being worked on include Wrightsboro Road between Interstate 520 and Jimmie Dyess Parkway and the River Watch Parkway Extension.
Columbia County has taken over some of the projects. One of them is work on Flowing Wells Road from I-20 to Washington Rd. The other is the Lewiston Road Project or the area from Columbia Road to I-20. Columbia County Engineering Director Matt Schlacter said they plan to create what’s called a “diverging diamond”
“Basically, we switch traffic. We’re going to put traffic on the wrong side of the road at I-20 to allow everybody to have a continuous flow. Alpharetta, there is one that’s working. North Carolina is starting to implement these things as well. A great great idea. It takes up about the same footprint that a regular road does but it allows a lot more turning moves to happen,” he said.
And for people driving through Richmond County headed to the medical district, there will be an upgrade to the Calhoun Expressway. The bridge is almost half a century old with worn out shoulders full of weeds and a barrier wall covered in mildew.
“We want to come and rejuvenate the pavement. Clean the barrier wall. Upgrade the lighting and also add some streetscape elements and maybe even some sort of gateway element with the bridge,” said Steve Cassell, Richmond County Assistant Engineering Director.
The heavily traveled Riverwatch Parkway is slated for work. Cassell said dual turn lanes need to go in as drivers head eastbound on I-20.
“Westbound, if you come through under the bridge you know if you’re in that right turn lane you end up getting trapped into the right turn going into the pilot. We want to turn it back into a through lane and feather it out as you get closer to the railroad,” he explained.
TIA projects set to begin by December 31, 2015 in both Richmond and Columbia Counties include resurfacing on River Watch Barrier, Druid Parkway improvements such as speed bumps near Paine College, Broad Street over Augusta Canal bridge repair and restoration and Windsor Springs widening. The two counties will utilize $106,251,890.
Grantham said the gas tax in Georgia may have been forgotten since the prices at the pump have fallen. But TIA will access an expected $900 million to $1 Billion and spread it across the state equally when the six and a half cents sales tax is available in July.
Drivers can follow work on Twitter @GDOTEastTraffic or call 511. You can visit the Georgia NaviGAtor website.