RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - Jermaine Fields has traveled along Windsor Spring and Tobacco Roads for years. He remembers the "hectic" area before the $33 million project widened a 3.3 mile stretch of roads to a four-lane.
"Traffic was ridiculously bad. Some days I've seen it bad where it would take a long time for you to get from one street to another street," Fields recalled.
Fields said the project was a pretty good idea. His only concern about the project is safety for homeowners.
"The tenants who actually live on that street. Since they opened it up, somebody may eventually run off the road into the house, hit somebody or something like that," Fields said.
Safety is paramount to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), too.
"Safety, first and foremost. Back when the project was conceived in early 2000 there was an above average incident rate, a lot of rear ends in this corridor. Gives you an extra lane to make turning movements safer, dedicated turning lanes for some of the rebuilt intersection, a brand new bridge over Speer Creek to replace the structurally insufficient bridge," GDOT District Communications Coordinator Kyle Collins said.
There's now a multi-use path made of asphalt for bikers and pedestrians to have increased mobility in the area. An additional safety feature will be lighting.
"There is lighting in the corridor that has not been activated. There are more light poles to install and in working order, which should be complete by mid-August," Collins said.
Peggy Letbetter said she had no issues traveling down Windsor Spring Road before the project.
"There's been a couple of wrecks already, the roads are tearing up vehicles, stoplights are backed up, lights aren't changing. They've made a complete disaster on Windsor Springs Road," Letbetter said.
Letbetter said if this project betters the road, then she's optimistic about driving along the path in the future.
Collins said there is still work to be done to clean things up and finalize items. He said even though all the lanes are open, the contractor is still on site.
From time to time, drivers can expect some temporary lane closures until that work is complete. The official completion date is July 31st, but Collins said even then, additional improvements may be necessary.
Crews originally broke ground for this reconstruction in early October of 2014, Collins said. He said the original completion date was April 30, 2017, but the contractor was given an extension due to utility delays (removing telephone poles, utility lines, etc.).
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