List Your Equipment  /  Dealer Login

Construction On I-20 Bridge Over Savannah River May Last Another Year

Wed March 08, 2023 - Southeast Edition

Workers install a scupper drain pipe. (Photo courtesy GDOT)
Workers install a scupper drain pipe. (Photo courtesy GDOT)

Just over four years ago, construction began on the Interstate 20 bridges over the Savannah River at the Georgia-South Carolina state line. The $73 million project's primary objectives were to replace the aging spans and expand their four lanes to six.

"Everybody knows it's a major undertaking," Kyle Collins, a spokesperson of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), recently told Augusta's sister TV stations, WRDW/WAGT. "These bridges have reached the end of their service life. Older designs like these structures typically have a 50-year lifespan, and we are beyond 50 years at this point."

GDOT and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) are working in tandem to restore and widen the existing eastbound and westbound I-20 bridges over the Augusta Canal and the river within the cities of Augusta and North Augusta, S.C. It is the first such agreement between the two states for a design-build project.

Crews are not only replacing the existing bridge structures to improve safety and operations along the freeway, but also working on the nearby West Martintown Road Interchange in South Carolina to improve its safety and operation.

The GDOT/SCDOT project was awarded to the design-build team of Superior Construction, which has a Southeast office in Jacksonville, Fla.; and WSP, an engineering and design firm based in New York.

Construction began in December 2019, according to GDOT.

A Long and Winding Road to Completion

But some traveling the interstate daily say it cannot be finished soon enough.

"I'm trying to [merge] over, you know, because the lane is ending," said Jobe Sullivan in speaking with the Augusta TV news stations, "but nobody wants to allow you over. It's like [being] at Daytona, and it's not safe."

Interstate 20 is a roadway that thousands travel on each day. Some choose to avoid it, but for Sullivan and her active family, it is a road they cannot sidestep.

"Multiple times on weekends, many of our tournaments are on the Georgia side of the river," she explained, adding that they come to Augusta's Riverside Park, which has many ballfields, tennis courts, and a gymnasium. "We're traveling that bridge because it's the most convenient way to get across into [the city]."

Sullivan said if something does not change soon to make it easier to navigate around the bridge construction work, she fears for the safety of others.

"Especially with my son in the car, it causes some anxiety, just, you know, wanting to make sure that we're safe," she noted. "It's not necessarily me or what I'm doing that I have to worry about, it's [what other drivers are doing]."

Construction Could Last Until 2024

Although the completion of the I-20/Savannah River Bridge replacement project was set for this year, WRDW/WAGT-TV reported March 7 that the project's construction finish has "allegedly been bumped to 2024."

Collins did not confirm that, but he acknowledged that the road and bridge work is slightly behind the initial schedule released in early 2020.

"It's a major undertaking, about a roughly 2-mi.-long area from the Georgia Welcome Center going all the way to Exit 1 at West Martintown Road across the state line," he explained to WRDW/WAGT. "The contractor has done a great job dealing with the challenges that [all] businesses have dealt with the last few years in terms of material availability, workforce, fighting through weather, but they've been good with us trying to stick to some of the milestones."

Besides replacing the old bridges over the Augusta Canal and Savannah River and expanding I-20 with an extra lane in each direction, GDOT and the contractor are adding 12-ft.-wide shoulders on the inside and outside of the roadway. Collins said the improved shoulders will add much more roadway capacity and increase safety in the area when first responders must deal with accidents.

Milestone to Come Ahead of Masters Week

Hanging over the entire project for the next month, as it has for each of the last three years, is that the Masters golf tournament will be held during the first week of April — an event that always increases traffic throughout the region.

Collins noted that the contractors are pushing to complete the final alignment of I-20 westbound bridge prior to Masters week.

Whenever the I-20 bridge project is done, though, he believes the bridge replacement will be a tremendous upgrade for the Augusta region.

Today's top stories

Even Construction Companies at Risk of Damage Caused By Deepfakes

Texas' $1.5B Project Meeting Benchmarks

ABC: Government-Registered Apprenticeship Programs Not Keeping Up With Construction Industry Needs

Case Construction Equipment Dealers Recognized for Focus on Technology, Community and Sales/Service/Parts/Financing Achievements

Construction Associations Back State Challenge to Federal Rule

Associated Equipment Distributors Conducts Cross-Industry Compensation, Cost of Doing Business Benchmarking Reports

DelDOT, Wagman Look to Unclog Bottlenecks

Bobcat Announces Lineup of New Products


aggregateequipmentguide-logo agriculturalequipmentguide-logo craneequipmentguide-logo forestryequipmentguide-logo truckandtrailerguide-logo
39.04690 \\ -77.49030 \\ Ashburn \\ PA