Bobby Jones Expressway is getting a makeover. The four-lane interstate is expanding to six lanes. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 10, 2012)
News 12 First at Five / Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- You may have already noticed some construction around the Gordon Highway exit on Bobby Jones.
The good news: The project is intended to make driving that area safer and easier.
Bobby Jones Expressway is getting a makeover. The four-lane interstate is expanding to six lanes.
"There will be one additional lane added in each direction and also there'll be some changes to the interchanges of Deans Bridge and Gordon Highway," said Area Engineer Rodney Way.
The loops to get on and off the expressway are changing, too.
"Currently they're considered four cloverleaf interchanges: four loops, two in each direction. They'll be changing from four cloverleaf interchanges to partial cloverleaf, partial diamond interchange," Way said.
That means instead of driving around a loop, you'll be exiting off a ramp that will lead you to a traffic light. At the Gordon Highway exit, cars will travel down a different stretch and end up at a traffic light instead of the current ramp.
Way says these changes will make drivers' lives easier and safer.
"Now they'll be able to exit off and come to a controlled stop at the traffic light and then be able to enter into the travel way in that manner, instead of having to merge into traffic," he said. "It'll definitely increase, as far as safety is concerned, because it kind of takes out that competitive factor of having to merge on."
Even though construction may require a lane closure every once in a while, Way says the interstate will be open at all times.
He says he even thinks drivers will like the changes.
"I know sometimes construction can seem somewhat of a hindrance to the traveling public, but just like most other projects, once the project is complete and individuals see the finished product, then they tend to be very pleased," he said.
The project is scheduled to be finished in May of 2014. It's being funded by both the federal government and the state. The construction starts at Exit 3 on Bobby Jones, which is Gordon Highway, and goes until Exit 5, the Deans Bridge Road exit.