EVANS, GEORGIA – A $35 million dollar road extension project that’s supposed to help manage growth is currently slowing the flow of traffic in Columbia County… but is there an end in sight for drivers?
The River Watch Extension Project is about half way done. Now Georgia Department of Transportation crews are working on the addition of a new traffic light. Yet, when the new road opens driver are going to have to prepare for another traffic shift.
“I feel like sometimes I have to leave like 2 hours earlier just to get where I have to go,” said Jacquetta Simpkins who works in Columbia County.
“It’s real congested and you just have to take your time and leave early,” Needom Tomlinson told WJBF News Channel 6.
At the intersection of Belair Road and Washington Road is the start of the traffic nightmare in Columbia County and all that road work has Washington Road down to one lane. By the end of the month drivers are going to have to go through three stop lights, back to back, before they even make it to Mullins Crossing.
“It’s going to be lots of stopping and starting,” said Cindy Boggus who lives in Columbia County.
“It’s going to provide some relief, but the signals are closely spaced together. It’s no ideal, but it can work,” Columbia County Director of Engineering Services Steve Cassell said.
The expansion of River Watch is intended to sustain the ever-growing county. A fact people who work and live in Evans have accepted.
“You’ve got to keep up with growth and the roads have got to stay in line with everything else,” Tomlinson told WJBF News Channel 6.
“That’s what they do for is to make it better but we will see. But it’s kind of frustrating until it gets to that point,” Boggus said.
As Georgia Department of Transportation crews adds traffic light sensors for the future intersection, torn up sections of the road are part of the growing pains many people are left dealing with.
“They don’t have nothing for you to get out. You could get hit by a car. It’s crazy.” Simpkins said.
The date for the official opening of River Watch Extension has not been set yet, but could be sometime in the next few months. For now the focus is making sure the new stop light is up and running.