Driving on Wrightsboro Road can be a nightmare for some. The road is rough and the road construction seems like it will never end. Now, drivers can expect more work to help improve the road.
The work we see now stretches from Augusta West Parkway to North Leg Road. That is a widening project. In about a year, construction plans will be released on the portion of the road from North Leg to Highland Avenue.
NewsChannel 6 sat down with Augusta Construction Manager Anthony Taylor. He said traveling down Wrightsboro Road will be smoother.
“You will have a continuous flow of traffic to avoid having like your bottlenecks,” he explained.
Fixing the problem near Bobby Jones Expressway, where it bottlenecks, means lots and lots of orange barriers, construction vehicles and crews for a project that stretches from Augusta West Parkway to North Leg.
“When folks are trying to turn and get onto Bobby Jones, east or west, you know how you create the bottlenecks? Hopefully, those [lanes] will eliminate some of those bottlenecks and create a better traffic flow in front of the mall.”
Taylor said the Wightsboro Road Widening Project started last August. The $5.9 million mix of sales tax and Georgia Department Of Transportation money will put in what’s called contraflow lanes or single lanes surrounded by walls to help usher traffic on and off the highway.
“Once you get into that lane you will be unable to get out of that lane because you will be confined with curbing and a small barrier wall,” Taylor said.
A portion of the road near the mall is already complete.
He adde, “The resurfacing is essential for roadway longevity, number one and for drainage.”
The project also includes widening Marks Church Road, including the bridge, set to be complete in a few weeks. It also includes improving the intersection of North Leg and Wrightsboro Road. It’s a project Taylor said came after a traffic study showed a high number of fatalities in the area. It will be done by December of this year.
The other part of Wrightsboro Road’s improvements is still in the design phase. That is the portion that’s bumpy from North Leg to Highland Avenue.
Augusta’s Director of Engineering, Hameed Malik, weighed in on that project that is still in the works.
“Resurfacing is not going to help the road, pretty much. The subbase, more or less, is failing. It will require reconstruction. That’s what we’re working on in SPLOST 7.”
Malik said the road’s wear and tear happened because of age and all of the traffic, including truck traffic. He said the city hopes to hire a consultant by October of this year and have a construction plan ready by the end of next year.
Malik said construction could start in 2021 and end in 2023. So far, $8 million from SPLOST 7, which includes North Leg’s project, is set aside for the project. But Malik added that more money will by needed through SPLOST 8 or GDOT.
I also spoke with GDOT Commissioner Don Grantham. He said that there are no plans to adjust the Bobby Jones Expressway near Wrightsboro Road unti the city makes its appeal to GDOT regarding what it needs for traffic flow in that area.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins