Augusta, GA – The rainy weather postponed repairs to Interstate 20 on the Augusta canal bridge where a truck driver who fell asleep behind the wheel ran through the guard rail and landed in the water. That crash caused many, including truck drivers, to question the bridge will be replaced.
The lanes on I-20 consolidate between Riverwatch Parkway and the state line and they do it rapidly. While there is signage telling drivers to obey, it can be tough for trucks to maneuver that fast.
“Definitely think it needs to be widened and it’s in the process as far as the designing and what’s necessary to do that,” said Georgia Department of Transportation District 12 Chairman Don Grantham.
He told us last week money for the new bridge is already in place. Now, the Peach State is looking to the Palmetto state to ante up its portion.
“South Carolina, I found out, has already funded through the State Infrastructure Bank the design work of I-20 from the Savannah River all the way to exit 5,” said South Carolina State Representative Bill Hixon, who represents District 83 in Aiken and Edgefield Counties.
Rep. Hixon said he’s taking the issue straight to other state leaders this week when he travels from North Augusta to Columbia for committee meetings.
“The construction money is not there yet because we don’t really know what the design and what the cost of construction is going to be,” he said.
Rep. Hixon also pointed out that there are still bridges out from flooding that swept through the state in the fall. And this year’s budget is about to expire. So he’s hoping money can be earmarked for the construction with Georgia in the near future.
Rep. Hixon added, “We’re going to six lanes and we are at four now. We’re going to need to be able to connect those six lane bridges to six lanes of Interstate in Aiken County going to exit five.”
Hixon told us he’s going to work hard to meet Georgia’s deadline to construct this bridge starting in 2019. This is about the number one request next to concealed weapons permits between the two states.