ATLANTA— The Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded 23 contracts for statewide transportation projects totaling $244,142,102. The projects were advertised in January and bids were received in February. Contracts were awarded on March 3 to the lowest qualified bidder. The awards focus on construction and operational improvements that enhance safety and address congestion, resurfacing and maintenance projects. Two major widening and reconstruction projects address safety and congestion in Bibb, Clayton and Fayette counties.
The largest investment is a contract for Phases II and III of the I-16/I-75 Interchange Reconstruction Project in the city of Macon in Bibb County. The two phases, valued at $148.7 million, widen over 3.8 miles of I-75 from Hardeman Avenue through its interchange with I-16, and include construction of 11 bridges and approaches. The goal is to improve traffic flow and enhance the safety of the I-16/I-75 interchange by adding capacity to both corridors. The contract was awarded to E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. of Snellville with an anticipated completion by summer 2021. The overall I-16/I-75 Interchange Reconstruction Project widens and reconstructs I-75 from Hardeman Avenue to Pierce Avenue and I-16 from I-75 to Walnut Creek. Operational improvements are expected to reduce congestion, improve freight movement, enhance safety and provide better access to and from the downtown Macon area.
Improving sight distances, separating through traffic from local traffic, and improving existing interchange operations are designed to contribute to a reduction in crashes. Due to its complexity, the overall project is being done in phases. The two phases just awarded are in addition to two that were previously awarded, and represent a total investment to date of $268.8 million. This includes project engineering, right of way acquisition and construction.
Three phases remain to be awarded. In Clayton and Fayette counties, a 5.3 mile widening and reconstruction of Ga. 54 from just north of McDonough Road to US 19/US 41/Ga. 3/Tara Boulevard, valued at $43.2 million, was awarded to C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc. of Marietta. The project, designed to relieve congestion and improve mobility, widens the corridor from two to four lanes, adds a raised median, widens the bridges over Morning Creek, Camp Creek and the Flint River, and further addresses safety with a paved sidewalk in each direction. The plan reflects land use patterns, residential build-up and the numerous schools and churches in the area. The anticipated completion date is Oct. 31, 2021.
Georgia DOT continues to tackle deferred maintenance and preservation of existing infrastructure with 16 awards totaling $34.2 million for resurfacing and maintenance of 166 miles of state highways.
The largest bridge investment is an $11.2 million contract for a 0.625-mile construction of a bridge and approaches on Ga. 369 over Lake Lanier’s Six Mile Creek in Forsyth County. The current bridge, built in 1955 and designed for the lighter truck weights of its time, is functionally obsolete with posted weight restrictions. No rehabilitation can be done to the substructure to improve the weight restriction, and the bridge must be replaced. Three bridge construction contracts were also awarded for bridges in southwest and east central Georgia.