AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Columbia County traffic engineers are ready to move forward with the Flowing Wells widening project. Planning began in August 2015 and will ease traffic congestion for people who live along the busy two-lane road. The $20 million project is funded by The Georgia Department of Transportation and will move the road from two lanes to a three-lane road include right turning lanes, bike paths, and sidewalks for pedestrians. County Traffic engineer Steve Cassell says they’re aware the problem and they believe the project is the solution.

“Anybody who comes that way from work knows that that intersection in Columbia gets backed up significantly. We’re looking to do a long-term fix there. We’re about 70 to 75 percent through our right away so we’re looking to probably send that out to bid early next year. Hopefully we get the utilities moved and get the major construction activities underway within the next year and a half,” Cassell says.

Residents say with several schools along the busy road, peak hours of traffic congestion are usually in the morning between the hours of 7-8:30 am.  Anthony Johnson, a Columbia County resident who lives along Flowing Wells says it’s a safety concern turning on to the road when leaving his home.

“I would say that from about 7 until 9 am and in the afternoon from about 3:30 until 6 pm in the afternoon, I’ve seen quite a few accidents so the traffic is really heavy. Other than that during the day it’s not that bad.” Johnson says.

Traffic engineers  says it will take two years to complete the project once construction begins. In the meantime he suggests drivers who live along this area should be mindful of those times where traffic is congested so they can plan leave earlier or choose an alternate route.