Rip Van Winkle must have felt like this: Waking from his long sleep, finding everything around him had changed.
Beleaguered motorists who use Furys Ferry Road probably wish they'd been able to sleep through the past 3 1/2 years - or at least that there had been a sufficient alternate route to handle their daily commutes.
During those three-plus years - twice as long as the construction time for the Empire State Building - Reeves Construction Co., of Americus, Ga., has been widening Furys Ferry from River Watch Parkway to just past Evans-to-Locks Road. For residents amd merchants in the area, the construction disruption was bad enough; It added insult to injury that the construction went on more than two years past the date of its scheduled completion.
It even got worse along the way when the county jumped into a project to raise the bridge on Stevens Creek Road in 2004, and temporarily shut down the only viable alternative. Fortunately, that project finished ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, Furys Ferry still isn't finished. But at least there finally is light at the end of the tunnel: Reeves' crews have opened up both directions of the divided, four-lane highway, and traffic is generally flowing smoothly - even if the road is still a little bumpy in places.
The ensuing reduction in traffic jams may be a little deceptive, too; the road opened just as the school year ended. But whatever the reason, motorists are thrilled to no longer crawl along a mile-long, single-lane rolling parking lot every afternoon.
It's just too bad we couldn't have slept through it all - like the folks who were supposed to be keeping the construction on schedule.
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