Work is finally underway in Valdosta to fix old, rough railroad crossings. Drivers have been complaining about the crossings for nearly a decade, and now in a matter of weeks, the worst sites should be fully repaired.
Normally a detour sign would send waves of anger and aggravation through most drivers, but not in this case. That's because crews have begun a major project to replace the rough crossings on four major Valdosta roads, including the crossing on Saint Augustine Drive.
Von Shipman, a Valdosta traffic engineer, says, "We're trying to address the maintenance first. We feel like getting new concrete panels in will be a solution to prevent the need for maintenance for a number of years."
Huge concrete blocks will soon be installed thanks to some help from the city. They'll be replacing old wooden crossings which have caused problems for years. City officials say it's coming at taxpayer expense, but it’s money well spent.
Shipman says, "It will cost the city about $10,000 at each intersection. It's a cost that's well worth the money."
Drivers who've suffered through the disrepair agree.
Harriet McAllister says, "Absolutely, like I said, the traffic over here is tremendous. We get it from both sides, and the improvements will make a huge difference."
The improvements will not just be limited to the intersection, but to those on Savannah Avenue, Fry Street and Clay Road. Officials say all the work should be done by the end of February.
Because the repairs are very extensive, traffic officials say you'll need to follow the detour signs around the construction, but the detours should only be in place for one week at each location.
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