This past weekend was a momentous for two of the county’s largest transportation projects. The Lee Rd. Interchange project and the Hwy 92 Relocation project reached milestones in their construction timelines. Both have been major projects in the county for several years, the Lee Rd project beginning in 2012 and the Hwy 92 project starting in late 2014. While one project is still years away from completion, the other is nearly finished. Let’s break down both:
Lee Rd/I-20 Interchange Project: This is the project that is nearing completion. Late last week, Northbound traffic patterns shifted to the newly finished portion of the new bridge over I-20. This completes the bridge entirely. The new bridge has 2 Southbound and 2 Northbound thru lanes, and a new turn lane for the entrance ramps onto I-20 on each side separated by a new median. The exit ramps and entrance ramps have been enhanced to carry more capacity and a longer merge lane for I-20 entrance ramps. This was one of the safety issues addressed as a need for the interchange upgrade. Enhanced traffic signals have been added to the entrance and exit ramps, as well as a new light added to a new interchange. Sweetwater Industrial Blvd has been rerouted around the Marathon and now terminates with a new lighted intersection with Vulcan Dr. A grassy median has been added to the intersection from Vulcan Dr/Sweetwater Industrial Blvd south to the project’s end at Monier Blvd. New signage also greets travelers and wayfinding signs send you in the direction of US Hwy 78 NB, and GA Hwy 92 SB. What’s left: Portions of the roadway and curbs need to be patched up from the temporary traffic patterns onto the new entrance and off the exit ramps. Some paving on rough spots throughout the project. Mostly, the project is nearly complete and should be finished by the end of the holidays.
The Hwy 92 Relocation Project: The next phase of the multi-phase, multi-year project has begun. Lanes on Hwy 78 east of Downtown Douglasville were shifted onto a portion of the new lanes being added to the Intersection of Hwy 78 and the new Hwy 92. This will allow the railroad tracks that parallel 78 to be shifted as well onto temporary tracks where the lanes on Hwy 78 were. Once that happens, the first portions of the new Hwy 78 overpasses will be built with the Train overpass built first. For now, motorists should use caution on that stretch, the speed limit has been reduced to 25 mph, and concrete barricades line the route so there is no shoulder for that stretch. The lane shift begins around the Dollar General, and ends right at the Mozley St intersection. What’s Left: The completion of this project is still several years away from finishing. Only small parts of the new roadway are actually ready to be constructed and there is still pipe installation and clearing going on on the north side of the project. Eventually, Hwy 78 will be an overpass over the new Hwy 92 with a single interchange exit and entrance ramp. The New Hwy 92 will start just after the Duralee Lane interchange and bypass the Downtown area of Douglasville, and rejoin the current Hwy 92 north of the city near Brown St.