COVINGTON -- Motorists traveling I-20 between Newton and Morgan counties should prepare for delays and muster patience as a year-long road project is about to get under way.
A rehabilitation project in Morgan, Newton and Walton counties will begin Tuesday, Sept. 6. The project will run both eastbound and westbound on I-20, beginning just east of Ga. Highway 142 in Newton and continuing to east of Ga. Highway 83 in Morgan.
The project consists of 19.5 miles of milling and resurfacing. Pittman Construction Company and E.R. Snell Contractor Inc. were awarded the $27 million contract. The project is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2012, according to DOT spokeswoman Cissy McNure.
Lane closures and delays should be expected.
"For the first three days the lane closure will be the inside lane westbound, then for the next three days there will be a lane closure on the eastbound inside lane, then back to the westbound for three days then back to eastbound. This will go on until they get to mile marker 101. Then they will do the same thing on the outside lanes," McNure said. "The work between mile marker 93.6 to 98 (Ga. Hwy. 142 to Ga. Hwy. 11) will be done on the weekends, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. They will do this every weekend until this section of roadway is complete, somewhere around eight weekends. At this time we don't know the schedule as far as which side they will start on east or west."
The DOT is asking motorists to slow down, be attentive and cautious.
To enable Georgia motorists to more easily enjoy Labor Day weekend, the DOT is suspending construction-related lane closures throughout the state beginning at 5 a.m. Friday, extending until 5 a.m. Tuesday.
The DOT reminds travelers to exercise caution, as heavy holiday traffic is expected throughout the state. Crews may still be working in proximity to highways and safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures to remain in place. Also, incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.
"We've averaged nearly 2,000 accidents across our state during recent Labor Day weekends," Transportation Commissioner Vance C. Smith Jr. said. "On average, more than 15 people die and more than 900 are injured on Georgia roads each year during this holiday. It should be a time of rest and festivities dedicated to working men and women, not of tragedy and grief. Please be very careful and do not drive distracted or while impaired."