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Georgia DOT warning of rise in crashes in construction zones

Summer travel is starting to pick up soon, but in addition to more cars on the road, there are...
Summer travel is starting to pick up soon, but in addition to more cars on the road, there are more construction projects picking up for the season.(WTOC)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 7:41 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Summer travel is starting to pick up soon, but in addition to more cars on the road, there are more construction projects picking up for the season.

We are used to seeing these orange barrels around everywhere throughout the Coastal Empire, but with an influx of people in town that aren’t familiar with the area, be sure to take it slow in the work zones.

There are several big projects going on right now including the 1-95 and I-16 interchange and on the other side of Savannah - the Islands Expressway project is still underway and finally the construction on Highway 17 in South Carolina coming into Savannah is still ongoing.

With all of those large scale projects and other routine maintenance – the Georgia DOT wants to remind you to stay alert in those construction areas.

Take a look at the numbers from crashes that happen in work zones throughout Chatham County including everything from fatal incidents to serious injury and no complaints of injuries throughout 2020 there were a total of 331, in 2021 the total jumped up to 717 and so far this year we are at 225.

“We always have signage that indicates there is work ahead so pay close attention to these signs you see and speed limits, we urge everyone, it is the law to buckle up and follow the speed limit because we want everyone safe as they travel,” said Jill Nagel with Georgia DOT.

Nagel says they are gearing up summer construction so that means a lot of resurfacing projects will be popping because that is a temperature sensitive material so they have a lot more of that happening in the heat of summer.

Just be on the lookout for flaggers when you are driving around and take it slow around those construction workers.

Highway 21 and State Road 30 in Port Wentworth will be seeing some changes.

The good news about this project is since it is a busy road, they will only be doing construction and closing lanes at night and you will still be able to get through in both directions – there will not be any lanes closed during the day.

The $2.2 million project will update signals at the intersection of State Route 30 and Highway 21 and add a second turn lane from State Route 30 onto 21 heading towards I-95.

They will add an additional travel lane in the median to help people move through starting just north of Highway 30 down to I-95. There will be a cross through put in at each road along Highway 21 to turn off onto the side streets.

The Georgia DOT says all of the improvements will help traffic move through this busy stretch.

“When we approach a project it is always data driven so the numbers count and with the growth we’ve seen in Chatham County and Effingham County that has increased the volume and increased the data numbers so that is why this project has moved forward,” said Nagel.

Once all the updates are made at the intersection and to the median – the entire stretch from the state road 30 intersection to I-95 will be resurfaced and re-striped.

Construction is already underway and will start to see it ramp up in the next month and this entire project will be complete by the end of this year.

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