News Release: Georgia Dept. of Transportation
August 11, 2014
VALDOSTA, Ga. – Contractors for the Georgia Department of Transportation will shift travel lanes within the U.S. 84/State Route 38/West Hill Avenue project Wednesday to allow for construction on the frontage roads adjacent to and underneath the new railroad overpass.
Contractors will begin removing the at-grade railroad crossings, paving the frontage road tie-ins and completing the curb and gutter. This will require closing the frontage roads to traffic. In order to continue to provide local access to the area, traffic will be routed onto the overpass. Through traffic will continue to be detoured and only traffic accessing local businesses and residences should use the overpass.
“Two lanes of the bridge will be accessible, but the bridge is not open. In order to complete the project we’ve got to put traffic on the bridge,” District Construction Engineer Scott Chambers said.
The only other option would have been to close the route for the duration of the frontage road work. Georgia DOT did not want to do that because it would have been a major inconvenience to local businesses and residents.
Temporary road striping must be completed before traffic can be put on the bridge. Weather permitting, traffic should be shifted by noon, Chambers said. Construction on the frontage roads is expected to take six weeks to two months.
All city streets within the project area will be closed at the intersection of West Hill Avenue. All through traffic not accessing local businesses must continue to use the mandatory detours already in place.
When completed, the bridge will consist of four lanes and will include 6-foot wide sidewalks with fencing on each side. Installation of the fencing is expected to be finished Wednesday. The frontage roads will also have sidewalks.
The $9.3 million project is on track to finish a couple of months ahead of the scheduled Dec. 31 completion date, Chambers said. The new 300-foot concrete bridge over the railroad crossing is expected to improve traffic flow and relieve drivers of delays caused by the numerous trains that cross the track daily. The construction contractor is Reames and Son Construction Co. Inc. of Valdosta.