Traffic signals being activated next week at US 280, I-16

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 3:04 PM EDT
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BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Hyundai’s electric vehicle plant coming to Bryan County’s megasite is the biggest economic investment in Georgia history and is expected to bring some traffic to area roads.

As construction at the site continues, the Georgia Department of Transportation is preparing for more trucks on the roadway.

On Wednesday, May 10, the department will activate new traffic lights on the interchange ramps along US 280 at I-16. That interchange is at exit 143 and is near Hyundai’s Metaplant and other industrial parks.

“We know there’s going to be an increase in traffic in that area, and this is kind of our interim step to help the mobility in that area,” said Jill Nagel, with GDOT.

It all comes ahead of expected traffic increases from the nearby Hyundai’s Metaplant site.

“We have a lot of truck traffic in the area. And when they’re trying to get off the interstate and go to the industrial park, we’re having some backups,” Nagel said.

The department says the new lights are an “interim operational improvement.”

“That means we’re doing something now for a project that is coming,” Nagel said.

It’s all part of a larger 280 improvement project that will include roundabouts at the interchange and other parts of the roadway. The lights will stay activated until those roundabouts are built.

GDOT traffic data shows the average number of daily drivers using the ramp to get off I-16 west to US 280 was just over 3,700.

In 2021, that number increased to nearly 6,000.

“We’re seeing the traffic volume increase now with the growth at that interchange,” Nagel said.

GDOT says that growth is why these changes are needed. Other improvements near the megasite include a new I-16 interchange and 280 widening.

But the first will be a new I-16 frontage road, which is expected to start construction by the end of this year.

“We’re looking ahead. They’re looking years beyond to see how we can improve mobility throughout the state,” Nagel said.

GDOT says law enforcement will help with traffic flow when the signals are activated. They’re asking all drivers in the area as drivers get used to the new signals.