McDONOUGH — The Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded bids for three construction projects to improve Henry County roadways, including the county’s first diverging diamond interchange.
CMES Inc. of Norcross has been awarded a bid of $5.2 million to construct a diverging diamond interchange at I-75 and Ga. Highway 20. According to the DOT fewer than 10 DDIs are in operation statewide, the most recent having been completed at I-285 and Camp Creek Parkway.
Henry County’s first DDI has a completion date of April 30, 2022. The project is funded through federal transportation dollars.
Construction will require one weekend or two weekends where the bridge is closed. When this occurs, motorists will be able to enter or exit the interstate, but not cross over the bridge. These weekends will be scheduled during later phases of construction and driving public will be notified in advance.
Diverging diamonds feature a crossover design where drivers temporarily drive on the left-hand side of the roadway when crossing the bridge. This allows motorists entering or exiting the interstate to turn left without crossing in front of opposing traffic. The design improves traffic operations by an estimated 30 – 40% — reducing motorist delays — and reduces crash rates.
The interchange will feature additional pavement markings, road signs, and directional arrows to help guide motorists through the exit. When complete, the bridge will feature six lanes with a barrier-protected 10-foot wide center sidewalk for pedestrians and cyclists. The six lanes will include two through lanes and one left-hand turn lane in each direction.
Following the DDI project, widening state route 20 from I-75 to Phillips Drive is scheduled to let for construction in November 2021. The project will widen the road from two to four travel lanes and build a new multilane roundabout at the intersection of state route 20 and McDonough Parkway.
A second project — a concrete rehabiliation project on I-75 southbound and I-675 — is designed to prevent tractor-trailers from sliding off-road during rainstorms and congesting traffic.
This $15-million project will extend between Ga. Highway 54 and Walt Stephens Road. Concrete rehabilitation is similar to asphalt resurfacing, but replaces and repairs damaged slabs instead of the entire roadway surface. This process is required because the roadway surface is concrete through this portion of I-75.
The low bid was awarded to Webber, LLC of The Woodlands, Texas, in the amount of $15,420,200.00. The contract completion date is June 30, 2021.
In addition to the two interstate-related projects, the DOT has awarded a $4.3 million project to Wright Brothers Construction Company Inc. of Charleston, S.C., for replacement of the bridge on Ga. Highway 81 over the South River.
The original bridge was constructed in 1948. When the new bridge is completed, will be 345 feet in length and feature a deck width of 43.25 feet, including an 8-foot shoulder on each side. By comparison, the existing bridge is 27 feet wide.