Albany has its own traffic nightmare - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany has its own traffic nightmare

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February 11, 2008

Albany --  20,000 drivers travel Nottingham Way toward Ledo Road every day, and a
study last year did nothing more than come up with expensive solutions.

Albany's engineering department extended that study and are now waiting on new traffic numbers from the Department of Transportation to determine if another overpass from Westover might ease traffic congestion. There is one solution that might help in the short term. 

How bad's the traffic on Nottingham Road headed toward Lee County, just ask anyone who navigates the road morning or night.

"I've seen this light green and I can be all the way back at the bypass, that's just how much traffic is backed up," said Andre Howell.

"It took me two lights just to get through there and it's pretty heavy," Marshall Barker told us.

Albany's Traffic Division commissioned a study last year to look at the problem. They came up with two solutions, widen Nottingham to six lanes for $64 million or put in additional lanes here and there for $12 million. Because of the expense they've now extended the study to look at a third option, an expansion.

 "A new route could actually be built consisting of extending Westover to Archwood Drive across the Liberty expressway to form a new intersection with Ledo," said Randy Casagrande, Albany's Traffic Engineering Manager.

It will be another six months before they have a cost estimate. Progress is held up because the last time the Department of Transportation did a traffic study on Ledo was seven years ago, before Wal-Mart went in. Motorists are bracing for what's to come.

"Now that they're fixing to open up Kohl's, I can only imagine what it's going to look like now," said Howell.

To ease some of the congestion Albany is looking to add a dual left turn lane on Nottingham at Ledo. That could be done this year. Motorists say its too little too late. "Well sure it is, when you want to move traffic you have to go ahead and fix the problem," he said.

Traffic Engineers say they're not anticipating additional trouble when Kohl's opens because traffic can enter and exit Kohl's from two points on Ledo Road. The extended study for a possible crossover should conclude in six months.

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