Columbia County sees progress with road construction projects

Columbia County sees progress with road construction projects

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - Road construction, Columbia County is experiencing a lot of that right now. Two of the biggest projects are the Washington Road widening and River Watch Parkway expansion.

"Having more places for people to drive and get around, and not as traffic snags and hang ups would be a good opportunity for folks to be able to enjoy the area, and not be sitting in traffic the whole time getting irritated," said Jeff Anderson, a Columbia County resident.

And Columbia County agrees: the whole reason for these two projects is to make people's lives better.

The new River Watch Parkway extension will be finished first, but not before some major changes. The first detour affects Blue Ridge Drive, Evans to Locks, and Columbia Industrial Boulevard.

 "That will undergo the first major detour shift as they open up sections of that and close Old Evans Rd," said Steve Cassell, the Columbia County Traffic Director.

Columbia County expects to go through 3 different detours between now and July. The $35 million project is half way complete and is expected to be open by the end of the year.

And just a few miles down the road, the Washington Road widening project.

Columbia County Officials said the Washington Road expansion isn't going to be done anytime soon, probably another year and a half before it's complete. They are taking the lanes from 2 lanes to 5, with a center turn lane in the middle to help alleviate traffic.

Crews are currently working to move dirt and get necessary appliances underground before surfacing the roads.

"It's going to include sidewalks, bike lanes, and it'll widen it out to 5 lanes between William Few and essentially Gibbs Rd. It'll be a tremendous improvement to that area." Cassell said.

The project may be a hassle to drivers now, but residents said it'll be worth it when it's finished.

"With the amount of bodies coming in when you've got cyber command and the other things that coming along with it, and just general growth of the area, yeah, there needs to be more pavement," Anderson said.

At the moment crews are also working to get a new traffic signal up and running at the intersection of the new River Watch Parkway extension and Town Center Drive.

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