Tifton GA, – Plan ahead, drive alert and watch for work zones. That’s the advice to motorists from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) as an active summer construction season gets into full swing with projects beginning or underway throughout the state.
In Metro Atlanta, roadway construction, bridge replacement, resurfacing, sign upgrades and striping will occur on every major interstate and many state routes, leading to significant delays – especially during weeknights and weekends. There will also be construction projects on major highways throughout the state.
In Southwest Georgia, travel on I-75 north of Tifton could cause some travel delays; an interchange reconstruction project is underway at Exit 66 on Brighton Road. Lane and long term ramp closures are required for the bridge/overpass replacement project that begins this summer. The interchange project is a necessary response to the widening of I-75.
To minimize traffic delays, the Department seeks to make the road work as non-disruptive to motorists as possible.
Weather permitting and in most cases, lane closures are limited to times of lighter traffic volume: overnights Monday through Thursday (9 pm to 5 am) and weekends (from 9 pm Friday through 5 am Monday).
In Metro Atlanta, GDOT will endeavor to limit lane closures to a maximum of two consecutive miles.
Scheduled construction activities can change at any time due to emergencies; maintenance requiring immediate attention; or inclement weather. In these cases, emergency lane closures may be necessary outside the designated times.
“While we understand the frustration of being caught up in traffic delays, the long days and warm temperatures of summer are the ideal time to make needed repairs and improvements to our state and federal highways,” notes Georgia DOT State Construction Engineer Marc Mastronardi. “The preventative maintenance activities we undertake in the summer save taxpayers millions of dollars in avoided reconstruction costs over the long term.”
With more orange cones on the roadways this summer, work zone safety is a primary concern – for construction workers, and for motorists, who are often the victims in work zone crashes. GDOT reminds drivers that work zones are not always stationary. Moving maintenance activities like litter pickup, mowing, sweeping and drainage will also be in operation over the summer months and should be approached like any other work zone: slow down; allow extra distance between vehicles; read signs; obey road crew flaggers; and expect the unexpected. The Department notes that on occasion motorists may see closed lanes when no workers are present. This could happen during concrete work, due to time needed to cure or harden the concrete.
“Whether you are on a family vacation, an out-of-state trucker, or a motorist just passing through, I can’t over-emphasize the importance of planning ahead and looking for alternative routes when planning weekend travel this summer in Georgia,” Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry added. “Prior to getting on the road, call 511 or visit the 511 website. You’ll get real-time road conditions and you will know what to expect.”
With the heavy summer construction season comes an increase in driving. Since the beginning of the year, traffic fatalities are up substantially in Georgia with many of these deaths attributed to distracted driving. Georgia DOT’s DriveAlert ArriveAlive campaign implores motorists to take responsibility for their driving behavior. It’s easy as 1-2-3.
- 1. Buckle up … always wear a seat belt no matter how far you drive
- 2. Stay off the phone and mobile devices … if possible, shut off the phone to avoid temptation; and no texting
- 3. Drive alert … do not drive drowsy or impaired.
GDOT offers a variety of tools for motorists to use for planning their summer driving activities.
Georgia DOT’s Summer Construction web page features an interactive statewide project map. Visit www.dot.ga.gov/BS/Projects/FeaturedProjects.
Call 511 to report incidents and for real-time traffic and travel information statewide, including traffic conditions, lane closures, and delays. In Metro Atlanta, request HERO assistance by calling 511.
Real-time, detailed schedule and lane closure information on all work is posted on the 511 website at www.511ga.org.
Interstate highway travelers can visit the state’s welcome centers for free maps and access to real-time information on construction or incident-related delays and lane closures.
For more information about the DriveAlert ArriveAlive campaign, visit www.dot.ga.gov/DS/SafetyOperation/DAAA. #ArriveAliveGA
For more information about work zone safety, visit www.dot.ga.gov/DS/SafetyOperation/Workzone.