The 1.729 miles of SR 20 will be widened to allow for truck passing lanes beginning east of Timber Lake Cove and extending to just west of Bells Ferry Road and Wilderness Camp Road.
C.W. Matthews was awarded the contract by the Georgia Department of Transportation after submitting the lowest bid of $7,761,359. Included in the widening project is a road realignment of Bells Ferry Road at the SR 20 intersection. This measure, coupled with the addition of passing lanes, hopes to improve safety and easing congestion.
"There's basically two reasons for the road realignment: to enhance safety and to improve the operational function, which would improve the flow of traffic," said GDOT Communications Specialist Mohamed Arafa. "The whole project is to ease congestion because when you get a truck that's turning left on a one-lane highway each way, you get stuck behind it and it's a long time, so when you have turning lanes or truck passing lanes that eases congestion. Of course, that also enhances safety because it is very dangerous when you have no turn lane and there's no warning to incoming traffic."
GDOT does not mandate when projects are begun but expects construction to begin soon. The contract stipulates project completion by the end of September 2014.
"If we get cooperation from Mother Nature and weather is good, they may complete ahead of schedule but the official completion date is Sept. 30, 2014," Arafa said, adding that traffic hindrance during construction is unknown. "We still don't know what kind of impact on traffic the project will have."
Information regarding construction schedules and lane closures will be released when available. To view the contract award announcement, visit www.tiny.cc/SR20.
For general information on GDOT, visit www.dot.ga.gov. GDOT can be followed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gadeptoftrans.