West Bay Street widening, improvements near completion

West Bay Street widening, improvements near completion

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A major road-widening and improvement project in Chatham County is nearing an end.

A nearly one and a half mile stretch of West Bay Street, from the Bay Street Viaduct to I-516 has been under construction since 2016.

WTOC spoke to the Georgia Department of Transportation about this project, and other major ones in Chatham County coming down the pipeline.

In an effort to help with traffic congestion and to create safer crossings and better sidewalks for the residents of West Savannah and surrounding neighborhoods, the Georgia Department of Transportation decided nearly five years ago to take on the project.

And now, the $16.3 million project is in the final stages with minor corrective work and touch-ups.

“What we’re doing is we’re being good stewards of the taxpayers money to make sure that we get the final product that is up to our, the Georgia Department of Transportation’s, high standards," said GDOT spokeswoman Jill Nagel.

According to GDOT, a significant issue the contractors were up against came at the intersection of Bay and Fell Streets that put the project months behind.

That involved culvert work, that will in the long-term help with drainage and flooding in the area.

Nagel said, “That was an added pay item that really is going to help that interchange with flooding.”

The contractor does face liquidated damages of more than a thousand dollars each day the project isn’t finished past the agreed upon completion date. But Nagel said unforeseen issues like the culvert and weather impacts will be taken into consideration to perhaps reduce the penalties.

As far as other big projects coming down the pipeline, Nagel added a groundbreaking is set to take place on the improvement project to the I-95/I-16 interchange this April.

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