Originally created 11/05/02

Road projects will start earlier



The cloverleaf at the intersection of Bobby Jones Expressway and Interstate 20 could be changed sooner than expected, and a plan to add an interchange at Davis Road and I-20 has quickly progressed.

"We're going to make every effort to move the money in for it (the Bobby Jones interchange) just as quick as we can with the Davis Road project," said David Griffith, of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The plan to change the Bobby Jones intersection from its cloverleaf to a flyover design for smoother traffic flow is scheduled to begin as early as 2006. Mr. Griffith said, however, that the Bobby Jones work could begin earlier in 2004 or 2005 because $16.8 million in right-of-way funding was recently approved and $2.8 million in acquisition funding also was approved for the Davis Road interchange.

"What we hope to accomplish is to meet the schedule for Davis Road," Mr. Griffith said. The project will widen the road from two to four lanes from Skinner Mill Road to Washington Road and add an off- and on-ramp to I-20. "We'll then try to accelerate the (Bobby Jones) project."

The Davis Road construction, he said, is the DOT's response to a recent increase of traffic from Augusta Exchange shopping center on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway.

The Davis Road construction cost will be $10.3 million, he said. Right-of-way acquisition for the Davis Road and Bobby Jones projects will both begin next spring.

At Bobby Jones, there will be 30 land acquisitions, with five commercial displacements. At Davis Road, there will be 100 acquisitions, with fewer than five commercial displacements, Mr. Griffith said.

Acquisition on Davis Road could last 15 months - three months longer than the same process on Bobby Jones. Construction on Davis Road, which could last 15 to 18 months, would follow. The Bobby Jones interchange construction will then start as soon as the Davis Road work is completed.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.



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