News 12 This Morning, March 17, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Stop, wait, and go. If you drive on Wheeler Road, Marks Church Road, or I-520, you've probably waited right here.
"Well I just got back from college, and it's kind of a shock to come home to, and then have to drive in it because I've never seen it before," Kristen Long said.
And if you are passing through around 5:00 in the afternoon, drivers say prepare to wait your turn.
"It's 20 minutes long and it's ridiculous. They just need to hurry up with the construction," Manerva Dugan said.
"Sounds like Atlanta traffic. It's really bad there and I'm sure it's just as bad here with the amount of people we have," Long said.
In just a few weeks, part of the construction will be done. Georgia DOT area engineer, Mike Keene says Marks Church Road will be widened to four lanes, the new ramp will be done and the traffic signal will be up. Their goal is to have it finished by Masters week, rain or shine. Here's what it will look like, when the project is finished. If you're driving West bound on I-520, you'll get off on the new exit ramp which will come to a stop sign on Marks Church Road. This will eliminate a stop light on Wheeler Road.
"So first of all we eliminate a signal and a conflict point on Wheeler Road, and it gives us more stacking distance because now Marks Church will be four lanes instead of two lanes, and we'll have more room for people to stack in there, and it will make traffic move a lot easier," Georgia DOT Area Engineer, Mike Keene said.
And if you're on Wheeler Road and want to go East bound on Bobby Jones, you'll take the new ramp and avoid all stop lights and stop signs.
"We have to make the ramp traffic for the interstate the major movement because we don't want people backing up onto a high speed interstate," Keene said.
Georgia DOT says they're still ahead of schedule and the completion date for this project is July 2010, but they're hoping to be finished by October 2009.
DOT says they're hoping to be done with the Wheeler Road bridge by mid-summer. They have to build the bridge in two stages. When it's all done, it will be four lanes.