Work to widen the Interstate 20 overpass at Lewiston Road has begun, but the project is still more than a year away from completion.
Construction crews started in November and recently began pouring concrete for the new bridge, said Mike Keene, an area engineer for the state Department of Transportation.
"It's moving along," he said.
The project isn't projected to be finished until fall 2009.
Plans call for widening the bridge from two to three lanes, widening the ramps and adding traffic signals at the ramps.
"There will be turn lanes at the signals and out of the ramps onto the road," Keene said.
From a combination of state and federal funds, the bridge will cost $10 million -- $8 million of which was spent to purchase rights of way, Keene said.
In addition to widening the bridge, officials want to flatten the angle of the road.
"We're trying to upgrade it to give better sight visibility," Keene said. "Because of it being on a crest of a hill coming up the ramp, that visibility can be tough."
A Wal-Mart planned near the I-20 project would increase traffic on Lewiston Road in the short term, Keene said.
"They'll be widening the road there to accommodate traffic and turn lanes," he said.
The timing of the bridge expansion with the added traffic the big-box retailer will bring was fortuitous, Keene said.
"It just happened that way," he said. "Wal-Mart wasn't part of our decision-making process. The traffic was already there."
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