Grovetown drivers anxiously await changes to I-20 exit 190 to ease traffic woes

Monday, May 20, 2019
News 12 at 6 O' Clock

GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Grovetown drivers are getting more impatient by the day as their I-20 exit, 190, is a close call for accidents every day. Backups stretch past the exit ramp in the peak travel hours, and people are getting sick of it.

But all those troubles could soon be a thing of the past as Columbia County hopes to add a "diamond interchange" in the area.

Danny Byrd is a fan of the traffic. He sells wildflower honey along Lewiston Road almost every day, and it's a heavily trafficked area.

"I started this business probably 18 years... well, a long time ago," Byrd said.

He says he feels like he won the lottery with the traffic, but he's in the minority.

"Some mornings with the school going on the traffic can be backed up a way around that curve all the way to the interstate."

This project could change all that. With a price tag of $35 million, it'll change the entire layout from I-20 to Columbia Road. It costs Danny about 40-feet of his property, but that's a price he's willing to pay.​

"They're buying an easement to widen the road and all. We're okay with that. It's got to happen, you know?"

Columbia County is adding something called a "diamond interchange", widening Lewiston Road into four lanes, and adding bike paths and turning lanes onto William Few.

People like Jay Lee have been living there for years, and he can't wait for the change to take effect.

"The traffic backs up. It's both in the mornings and in the evenings and after work. The traffic just backs up an ungodly amount," said Lee.

But until the county acquires all the land they need, waiting is the only option. The county still needs to acquire about 100 more parcels, which they hope to get shoveled in the ground by next year, and expect the entire project to be completed by 2022.

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