Headed south? I-75 is finally ready - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Headed south? I-75 is finally ready

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ADEL, GA (WALB) -

ADEL, GA (WALB) – It's been a long time coming, around 25 years, but finally the Interstate-75 widening project through South Georgia is finished.

From the Dooly County/Crisp County line south, there are no more construction zones, and you can drive all the way to Florida on six lanes.

"Man, this is great having six lanes of traffic open..now travel is so much better," said Craig Soloman, with the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Something refreshing for folks used to dealing with interstate construction in Tift County, "I was on the interstate this weekend and there was a lot of traffic and believe me that extra lane has made a lot of difference," Soloman said.

The project which began in 1986, widened I-75 from just four lanes to six stretching from Adel to the Dooly County line.

Now 25 years later, contractors are making their final touches before they sign off on the job, "It takes time to do this kind of work with shifting of traffic you have to watch out for the safety of your employees your contractors and the traveling public," he said.

And it wasn't cheap, it cost a quarter of a billion dollars to widen and reconstruct 105.4 miles of interstate highway.

Not only is there less congestion out on the interstate, but it's safer. Contractors added a barrier wall to some areas, which should help reduce cross over crashes. They've also removed roadside obstacles like trees, or anything else that could get in the way of an accident.

New concrete and asphalt should cut down on maintenance costs, and high visibility signs will stand out even in rainy weather.

Kenneth Woodruff is very relieved to see all six lanes open. He works as a mechanic and sometimes responds to trucks stopped on the interstate. "They can't get all the way off to the side of the road so you are worried about cars running into you and they don't slow down or move over," he said.

But he, along with many others are elated to see the project come to an end.

Those orange barrels are still out in case a contractor has to put them out for night-time work, but those barrels along with any other sign of construction could be removed as early as next week.

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