I-75 work expected to cause delays

Photo by Edward Erb, CDM SmithA contractor is scheduled to install bridge beams next week at Exit 29.

VALDOSTA — Motorists will notice delays on Interstate 75 this week due to construction work in Lowndes County, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The work involves the new overpass construction at Exit 29/Ga. 122 in Hahira, according to a GDOT statement.

A temporary wall that was moved to the median before Hurricane Dorian approached Georgia will be relocated to block the inside lane of I-75 north and south in the area of the interchange. The contractor will block the left lane beginning 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. At 10 p.m. the contractor will also close the middle lane for the safety of employees who will be moving the barrier wall. The middle lane will reopen once the wall is in place, according to the statement.

Installation of bridge beams at the interchange is also scheduled. This will be done overnight to minimize the impact to I-75 traffic, which must be paced. Beams will be set over I-75 northbound lanes Monday, Sept. 9, and over southbound lanes Wednesday, Sept. 11, weather permitting, the statement said.

Pacing is scheduled to begin 10 p.m. each night. Law enforcement will briefly hold traffic as cranes lift each beam and swing it into position. It may take several hours each night to set all the beams. Drivers should expect delays and are asked to be patient moving through the work zone and to remain alert for personnel and heavy equipment in the area, according to the statement.

The $49.6 million project is reconstructing the interchanges at Exit 29 and Exit 22 near Valdosta. The bridges were built in 1960 and the design is outdated for current and projected traffic. Construction of the overpasses was staged to avoid closing the interchanges. Construction is expected to be finished next summer, according to the statement.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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