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Westover road alternate plan

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

July 15, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The City of Albany has short and long range plans to relieve traffic congestion on Nottingham Way, North Westover Boulevard, and Ledo Road.

 Engineers developed an alternate corridor from Westover by the Mall, under the Liberty Expressway, to Ledo Road. That would take traffic away from Albany's most congested and dangerous intersection. But  it probably will be more than five years before it's open.

Watching from his produce stand at Nottingham Way and Ledo Road, Lance Kearce says it's incredible the growth in the amount of traffic passing by. Kearce said "They say the economy is in bad shape. Gas prices are high. You can't tell it by this intersection."

Traffic engineers say the area between the Mall and Wal-Mart is the most congested and dangerous in Albany, and the amount of traffic keeps growing at almost twice the normal yearly rate expected. Gridlock is close without help. City of Albany Engineering Associate Walter House said "It's definitely at the point of failure."

So engineering consultants studied several plans, and the one selected is an alternate route off Westover Boulevard just beside the furniture store across from the Mall, under two new bridges to be carry the Liberty Expressway over the new road, and onto Ledo between the Skating Rink and Wal-Mart. The new road and bridges is estimated to cost $9,700,000, and be completed between 2013 to 2015.

Work will get underway soon for more immediate help on Nottingham. House said "Widening of Nottingham from the bypass up to Ledo Road. What that is going to do is allow an additional turn lane." A new traffic light and more turn lanes at Stuart and Nottingham will be installed in the next year, to try and move increasing traffic in Albany's shopping district. Kearce said "With more development on the Lee County and Dougherty County side, we are going to see a lot more traffic."

 So engineers say this is the plan for the alternate route, and hope to have it open as soon as possible.

House said the city is working get the Westover Alternate into their transportation improvement plan which would allow them to get money from the state and federal governments.

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