No stops on Slappey? Lee Co. to improve Century Rd. at U.S. 19 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

No stops on Slappey? Lee Co. to improve Century Rd. at U.S. 19

Posted: Updated:

Good news for commuters, traffic congestion is down nationwide and even here in Albany.

That saves you money on gas. Traffic engineers are working to save you even more and get you around town faster. Lee County also has some traffic projects in the works to improve safety and reduce congestion.

The next time you travel Slappey Boulevard you might notice some big changes. At noon Tuesday, traffic engineers began adjusting the lights to a new pattern all aimed at getting you from Newton Road to Palmyra Road with as few stops as possible.

"Hopefully if commuters will drive 35 to 40 miles per hour which is the posted speed limit will notice a smoother progression through the system," said Jeff Legg, Wolverton & Associates.

Motorists could be stuck at a side street, but not for any longer than two minutes. For every dollar the city spends on the new signal configuration, it's expected to save you $20.00 in reduced delays and less time idling. While traffic counts are down overall, some patterns are changing.

"Two places of significance where we did see an increase are at Palmyra and the eastbound ramps, we noticed a pretty significant increase in traffic there, so we made some adjustments to allow the ramp and side streets to free up Palmyra and have a little more time," said Legg.

 In Lee County, projects are already in the works to add a dual left turn lane at Highway 19, 195, and 32 in Leesburg and the north bypass to ease school traffic congesting in 2012, but safety improvements will also be made to the dangerous intersection on Highway 19 and Century Road.

"They'll lower the grade of that intersection so you'll have a lot better sight distance and then install a traffic light at that location," said Bob Alexander, Lee County Planning & Development Director.

That work will get underway next year along with the extension of Westover Boulevard that will include an underpass beneath the bypass near the Albany Mall if the T-SPLOST is approved and will connect Fussell Road to Forester Parkway.

"Major east west route it will be 9 miles from Highway 91 to U.S. 82 and that will relieve a lot of traffic congestion in the southern part of the county," said Alexander.

Lee County Commissioners are being asked to approve 11 different road improvement projects and are still working toward paving more than 200 miles of dirt road, which won't come cheap.

In Albany, the next section of the city to see improvement will be East Albany.

There are projects scheduled for Clark Avenue, Cordele Road, and Oglethorpe Boulevard.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.