I-20 bridge replacement could have an affect on local businesses

Wednesday, July 11, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Details about the plans to widen I-20 at the state line have been revealed. News 12 first showed you these renderings two years ago and now we're getting specifics on those plans.

The big thing they said is they weren't going to completely shut down the bridges at any time. There will be lane closures but only at night or early in the morning.

Once construction starts, the speed limit will drop to 45 mph. Local businesses are wondering how delays could impact them.

60,000 cars count on this bridge to get where they need to go.

"Anytime I have to travel, run errands, I'm always going into Georgia. I do, I go over quite often," said Krysta Ferguson, who works at Wacky Waynes.

Krysta Ferguson works at Wacky Waynes right off exit one. She gets a ton of customers from Georgia, but she is worried about how this project could affect her business.

"It may cause delays for new years or if it does take them a long time for our next 4th of July," said Ferguson.

The bridge replacement is huge, an $82 million investment. GDOT says it'll help the flow of traffic and make it safer in the long run.

This will all look very different when it's complete. These two lanes will turn into three, 12-foot lanes with matching inside and outside shoulders.

The newest addition is a traffic light at the exit one off-ramp to West Martintown Road. That change is one she can get behind.

"If they do put a traffic light, I definitely think it'll help. I've seen several times where other cars go down the wrong way," said Ferguson.

For Bush Flower Shop owner, Larry Anderson, delays mean more people opting to take an alternate route.

"I'm sure downtown North Augusta will get its fair share of overflow. I'm hoping it'll generate some business, get people to see things they haven't seen before," said Anderson.

The change is sure to make an impact but GDOT hopes after it's all said and done it'll get you where you need to go a little quicker and a little safer.

The work will start in September. The first move will be to dig out access roads and then they'll start on the Georgia side. They hope to be finished by spring 2022.