Motorists traveling near the Hardy-McManus Road area of Washington Road might soon have some relief from peak-time traffic.
A Columbia County school bus waits to take a right turn off Hardy McManus Road onto Washington Road while eastbound traffic backs up behind a minivan waiting to make a left turn onto Hardy McManus. The intersection soon will see improvements that will make traffic flow smoother.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
Though no traffic light is planned for the intersection, a project to add turn and deceleration lanes on both roads was approved by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners at its most recent meeting.
"It's mainly to get the peak traffic off of Washington Road going up Hardy McManus Road when school starts and ends," said Kevin Lear, the director of the county's Construction and Maintenance Division. "That's when we have the most volume on Washington Road right now. This project will help get those people off the road faster toward Hardy McManus."
It is common to see traffic back up as an eastbound motorist waits to turn right from Washington Road onto Hardy McManus.
Lear said the $425,000 project will include left-turn lanes off Washington Road onto Hardy-McManus and vice-versa, in addition to deceleration lanes for motorists turning right onto Hardy McManus or right from Hardy McManus onto Washington Road.
Lear said he hopes construction will begin in early September. With the recent unpredictable weather, though, completing the improvements could take as long as six months, he said.
Lear said that when the work begins, motorists should be inconvenienced as little as possible.
"We're going to schedule the projects so that work is suspended during the peak times in the morning and in the evening," Lear said. "We'll pull the cones out of the way and get traffic through there and put them back after those times."
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