AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — It has been two years since construction began at the state line of I-20. Now, people have a new bridge to drive over. The eastbound bridge connecting South Carolina to Georgia opened over the weekend. It is the first step in a massive project to widen interstate as it crosses over the Augusta Canal and Savannah River.
“When it’s all done, you’re going to have three 12-foot-wide lanes in each direction East and West,” Kyle Collins, a district communications officer for the Georgia Department of Transportation, explained. “You’re also going to have 12-foot inside and outside shoulders.”
Construction crews will take a break over the holiday weekend. After Thanksgiving, they will begin demolishing the old eastbound bridge. That is expected to be completed in Spring 2022. They will then begin building the westbound bridge connecting Georgia to South Carolina.
“It’s only going to help if there’s a traffic incident to be able to safely move things out of those travel lanes. Everyone can get things cleared faster.”
The project is complicated. Construction crews have done their best not to disturb traffic nor the environment below.
“There’s a lot of mitigation that has to be done. There’s pumping of the water during certain times of the year. So if there are any fish or species that are misplaced because of that, there are measures that are taken to get them back to where they need to be.”
GDOT expects the entire project to be completed in 2023.