Major road projects on I-20 will not be finished as originally scheduled, Georgia DOT says

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GDOT crews work on the retaining wall at the I-20 bridge project at the Georgia-South Carolina state line. Project completion, originally scheduled for this year, is expected now for spring 2023.
GDOT crews work on the retaining wall at the I-20 bridge project at the Georgia-South Carolina state line. Project completion, originally scheduled for this year, is expected now for spring 2023.

Two major road projects on Interstate 20 – one at the state line and another in Appling – are expected to continue to experience delays from their original completion date.

I-20 state line project

An $82 million project, funded by Georgia Department of Transportation and the South Carolina Department of Transportation, to replace the I-20 bridges over the Augusta Canal and Savannah River was originally scheduled to be completed this summer. Now, substantial completion of the project is scheduled for next spring.

Over the past couple of months, major milestones have been completed on the project, according to GDOT. The W Martintown intersection improvements are complete and the intersection is open to traffic on the South Carolina end of the project.

A rendering of the I-20 bridge project over the Augusta Canal and Savannah River Bridges.
A rendering of the I-20 bridge project over the Augusta Canal and Savannah River Bridges.

Westbound traffic on the bridge was shifted in November to accommodate additional construction/demolition activities over the Savannah River and Augusta Canal. Crews have continued to work on the Savannah River and Augusta Canal bridges this year.

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Demolition of the bridges is ongoing and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2022. According to GDOT, the next traffic shift that will impact drivers is anticipated for July and the impact will be minimal.

Eastbound traffic will be shifted to the new bridge structure in the center. Westbound lanes will be moved to road/bridge sections currently under construction adjacent to the current westbound travel sections, according to GDOT.

The project combining the east and westbound bridges over the Augusta Canal and Savannah River with a single structure and will increase travel lanes from four to six.

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The Exit 183 interchange is expected to have two roundabouts and a new bridge near the Amazon fulfillment center. No timetable has been given for the completion of the project.
The Exit 183 interchange is expected to have two roundabouts and a new bridge near the Amazon fulfillment center. No timetable has been given for the completion of the project.

Exit 183 interchange project

Drivers using exit 183 on I-20 are expected to continue to face delays and traffic congestion for the next couple of months at least. The $8.496 million reconstruction project, which will replace the bridge, add two roundabouts and relocate Nature's Way at Exit 183 at Appling-Harlem Road, is behind schedule.

Penny Brooks, who handles communications for the TIA Program, said in an email that engineers are working on new timelines for the immediate traffic situation, as well as, the overall project. The original completion date for the project was July 2022.

Brooks said crew are expected to be done with major construction, weather permitting, by the end of the summer but a specific date has not been determined. Brooks said traffic will shift to the new bridge over I-20 by July 1, as construction on the bridge is nearly done.

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Once the shift onto the new bridge is complete, work on the two roundabouts is expected to begin to connect Appling-Harlem Road with the on-ramps and off-ramps. Traffic congestion has become common around the exit in the morning and afternoon and as the new Amazon fulfillment center, which opened Oct. 1, continues to ramp up.

Brooks said GDOT has been communicating with drivers as much as possible about the situation at the intersection and has asked drivers, including Amazon employees, to take alternate routes to avoid the interchange.

The project is part of the Columbia County Transportation Investment Act and no additional funding is needed.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: GDOT: Original completion schedule for I-20 projects delayed