Washington Road widening to begin this summer

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It's a popular and busy road that runs through several counties.

But a construction project that starts in the next few months could slow down drivers on Washington Road.

Columbia County will add a median between Flowing Wells Road and Club Car Drive.

The hope is it will cut down on crashes.

New businesses bring new traffic...and that makes turning left into work a daily danger for Amber Throckmorton.

"People will swerve over, and the person who is behind them...they don't realize someone stopped and they have to slam on the brakes," Throckmorton says.

That causes the area's higher than usual number of crashes, according to engineer Ronnie Hutto.

"It impedes traffic with one lane shut down to make a left turn," Hutto says.

He wants to widen Washington Road from Flowing Wells to Club Car to add a 14-foot median. The county hopes it will ease traffic and lower crashes.

They may temporarily have to merge all those cars into one lane when construction starts.

So you might start to see some delays out here toward the end of the summer.

The delays are worth it in the long run for Washington Road driver John Stephens.

"Some days if you get caught up in the wrong lane, you could lose a lot of time," Stephens says.

He thinks it's a good use of tax money, which will pay for half of the $1.2 million project. The other half comes from state aid.

"The traffic volume has increased so much so anything they can do is gonna be a great help," says Stephens.

"They desperately need a median all the way down the road because it's growing. More stores are being built, and more traffic. It's not safe anymore," says Throckmorton.

Whether you work there or just drive by, the goal is to make Washington Road a safer place.

Columbia County has to work through some last minute details at the commission meeting April 18.

They expect the construction to start this summer and end by early winter.