Crews hope to finish Hwy 204, King George Blvd. construction by Fall 2017

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - There will be lane closures on Georgia Highway 204 eastbound between Pine Grove Road and King George Boulevard in Savannah, Monday through Friday of this week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., due to construction.

Currently, the bridge is being worked on. Construction workers are in the process of pouring the concrete on the bridge and we should expect that part to be done within the next 30 days.

This week, storm drain pipe is going in around the bridge and crews are scheduled to put in paved shoulders east of the CSX Bridge. After all of this is installed, then the paving should be the next step. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, eastbound 204 traffic should be going across the bridge sometime in mid-July, and then westbound 204 traffic is estimated to be allowed on the bridge in mid-August.

But for now, traveling here is still frustrating for drivers.

"Yes, that is exactly when you see it, right before 5 p.m., that is when it is real hectic and stuff when people are getting off. I guess this is supposed to make it better, I hope. I guess we will wait to see when it is done," said George Brown, a Georgetown resident. "I am all for whatever limits traffic, I hate traffic. That is why I kind of tried to live over here for a little bit, and it didn't really work out for me. Whatever limits traffic; whatever you guys can do to do that, it is fine with us."

The whole purpose of the project is to improve travel time and reduce crashes. A chart sent to us by GDOT shows drive times from Rio Road to Highway 17 on State Route 204. It shows the drive times back in 2009 and then shows what estimated times would be without doing the construction.

GDOT says the eastbound morning travel time in 2035 would be over 22 minutes in the morning from Highway 17 to Rio Road if the work was not completed. They estimate westbound evening traffic would be up to almost 40 minutes the opposite way with no work in 2035, compared to doing the work and it being 15 minutes and 45 seconds.

"I still have hopes for it, I think it will reduce traffic, but I hope it doesn't backfire. I still have hope it will reduce traffic for people who live here and further on 17 and Pooler," said Jaykeena Young, a Georgetown resident.

We are told the project is within budget for now. Within the next few weeks, we should see drain pipe installation, a shoulder being put in east of the CSX Bridge and then paving. We are told ultimately the goal is to have the project completed by the fall of this year.

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