New I-16/I-95 interchange ramp now open

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:53 AM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - If you commute through the I-16/I-95 interchange, one of the new exit ramps that connects the two interstates is open for the first time Friday.

This new ramp connects between I-16 west and I-95 south and it is a brand new design.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is referring to this as a “patrial turbine” bridge, which replaces the “cloverleaf” style ramp.

GDOT also says that this exit ramp is the first of it’s kind in the state and is a preview of what they want the whole interchange to look like when the project is complete.

Construction on the project began back in 2020 and now, three years later, a big portion of the project has been completed.

“We’re hoping by that morning commute that we’ll have everything well signed. The striping will be in place, it’ll be seamless. It’ll just be a change. Mentally, we want folks to prepare that you’re gonna have to make your decision sooner. So you’re not gonna be right up on the interchange now looking for the old ramp. Back more closer into Savannah, more towards the east you’re going to have to make that decision to get to 95,” said GDOT Communications Specialist Kyle Collins.

GDOT did open up this new exit in the overnight hours to avoid affecting as few people’s travel as possible and, they’re also working on shutting down the old exit.

The big thing that Georgia Department of Transportation officials want people to know is just that you’re going to have to make a decision earlier when exiting I-16 west for I-95 South. So if you’re commuting from Savannah into the Richmond Hill area or further south, pay special attention on your commute.

We know that the cloverleaf style required folks to make a quick decision when getting on or off the interstate. Now, if you’re taking this exit, you’re going to decide that a lot further east than you would have with the old style.

If you do miss the exit, however, you can always turn around at Pooler Parkway just a few miles up the way. There’s no way to accidentally take the old exit, either.

“In addition to opening this brand new bridge and first-of-its-kind turbine ramp that we’re standing on, there will be a closure of the old system. So that old particular movement’s gonna go away, and that’ll just be a demo process that the contract crews will get to after that. But it’ll be safely closed off so there won’t be any confusion,” Collins said.

Collins also recommends that if you know you’re going to run into this bridge on your morning commute, pull up a GPS app and it’ll help guide you onto the new bridge without any confusion.