On Your Side: What you need to know about the I-20 lane shift

With a bridge that sees 60,000 to 70,000 cars a day, construction crews are working early mornings and late nights.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - If you’re one of the many people driving over the I-20 bridge regularly, get ready for another lane shift.

The traffic change is coming just in time for hundreds of people new to the area to start driving on the interstate.

Before drivers see the final product of six large lanes, the eastbound half of the construction project is about to start, and all eyes are needed on the road in the next few weeks.

With a bridge that sees 60,000 to 70,000 cars a day, construction crews are working early mornings and late nights to answer the question, how long will this last?

Kyle Collins is with the Georgia Department of Transportation, GDOT. He said, “Freight traffic is moving our economy. That is an extra challenge. And that’s really why we’re building a project like this not only for safety, but to meet the demands of the modern traffic and traffic volumes.”

For westbound, striping is finalized, barriers have been removed, and safety guards are in place for those new lanes drivers are on.

“Drivers are traveling on brand new construction, brand new bridges and pavement from Exit 1 and west Martintown, leading to the Georgia Welcome Center, also a new ramp at the welcome center,” said Collins.

Within the next two weeks, work on the eastbound side of the bridge will begin, and lane shifts will change for eastbound drivers.

“The old bridges over the canal and the Savannah River has to be reconstructed,” he said. “That’s going to serve each valve so we can rebuild Augusta Canal Savannah River on that side.”

GDOT says if drivers would drive the speed limit at 55, it will reduce the danger of new changes to westbound.

“It goes back to that speed reduction. If you’re driving the proper speed limit and expecting changes, everyone will be safe in that area,” said Collins.

Masters is in less than two weeks, so these changes will happen before the end of March.

GDOT says the most important thing you can do is prepare yourself to slow down so that everyone makes it home at night, including the workers who are on the sides of the road.