More I-20 ramps to open by July 4

The first of the new flyover ramps at the Bobby Jones Expressway-Interstate 20 interchange opened this week with several more to come before July 4. Westbound I-20 drivers can now use the new ramp to go east on Bobby Jones Expressway. They will have to exit much further back on the interstate, though, as the new lane begins near the Walton Way Extension exit.

Project manager Sam Stutt said his crews will finish three other ramps next week: the eastbound Bobby Jones on-ramp to I-20 westbound, the Bobby Jones westbound ramp via Marks Church Road and the Bobby Jones eastbound ramp to Marks Church.

"We're putting the finishing touches on them right now," Mr. Stutt said.

State officials have spent nearly $200 million to remove the outdated cloverleaf design of the old Bobby Jones Interchange and replace it with new flyover ramps. Crews began construction in 2007 and since then, drivers in Richmond County have been traversing a gauntlet of lane shifts and closures near the intersection. Work on Wheeler Road began later, with work crews relocating the on- and off-ramps to Marks Church Road so traffic would not snarl the Wheeler Road bridge over Interstate 520.

The second flyover ramp, which will take drivers from westbound Bobby Jones to westbound I-20, will open shortly after the holiday weekend. All work at the interchange is scheduled to be done by Oct. 31.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.