December 19, 2005
There are traffic backups once again along Interstate 20, all because of construction. So why are the lane closings coming on some of the busiest travel days of the year? News 12 is on your side with some answers.
The road closings affect both sides of Interstate 20 and pretty soon all traffic on this part of the interstate will be on one side.
The lane closures back up traffic nearly a mile, around the Washington Road exit. A sign posted nearby lets everyone know the right lane is closed, but some still wait until the last moment to move over, creating even more delays.
“There’s absolutely no way from a construction standpoint that we can avoid closing lanes. If you’re out traveling around you may want to seek alternate routes,” said Gary Pulliam, GA Dept. of Transportation.
And while this brief backup causes some headaches, it’s much better than this. Five years ago, heavy rains flooded this part of the interstate. People were forced to push their cars from the knee-deep water. Here, a semi-truck rescues one car from the rising waters. This construction will raise the interstate about fifteen feet to avoid future flooding. And that requires lane closing during this busy high-traffic holiday season.
“It’s an 18-month project and there’s a lot to do in this 18-month project and if we took this entire week off and didn’t do anything, that would push everything back even further,” Pulliam said.
The project will cost at least $11 million and be complete sometime in 2007.
The lane closings affect I-20 between Bobby Jones and Washington Road, but all lanes will be open during rush hours, 7-9 in the morning and 4-6 at night. And all lanes will be open this Friday because of holiday traffic.