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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011

Dixie Road overhaul nearly complete

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The death of Jesse Allen, a construction control inspector for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, stopped the work on Dixie Road for more than a week while the accident was under investigation. But construction resumed Monday.

The $36.5 million effort to widen the Main Post thoroughfare is set to reach “substantial completion” by Oct. 8, said John Thierry, senior project engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

When finished, Dixie Road will stretch four lanes with a center grass and concrete median from Lindsay Creek Parkway to Edwards Street. It drops to three lanes between Edwards and Sightseeing Road.

Thierry said the expansion should have a dramatic effect on traffic jams and congestion around Fort Benning for the more than 33,000 motorists who pass through post gates every day.

The Dixie Road widening project was necessary due to the expanded mission at Fort Benning, where the Infantry and Armor schools were aligned under the Maneuver Center of Excellence as part of Base Realignment and Closure.

Sauer Inc., the prime contractor, is committed to finishing this project as soon as possible, Thierry said, and minimizing the impact to drivers.

“The No. 1 priority has been to keep traffic flowing along Dixie Road while rebuilding the corridor at the same time,” he said. “With a project of this scope and magnitude, it necessitated a very aggressive design and construction schedule. I’m both happy and pleased with Sauer’s performance to date.”

Design work started in July 2010, and the actual construction began last October with demolition of the three buildings at Ragan Court, just north of Dixie Road near the Army and Air Force Exchange Service shoppette and gas station.

Thierry said surface-course paving will begin sometime this week and be followed by pavement striping and sign installation. Engineers will focus on wrapping up construction along the Dixie Road corridor and at the Lindsay Creek and Marne Road interchanges.

Cruising the new Dixie Road

The widening project starts just west of the Sightseeing Road intersection and runs to a point about three-fourths of a mile east of the Lindsay Creek Parkway interchange. The length of the Dixie Road expansion is roughly six miles, which includes the work at Marne Road. A look at some other new features along the route:

• Turning lanes are incorporated into the alignment at all signaled intersections and at ranges in the rural section from Soldiers’ Plaza to Lindsay Creek Parkway. • Traffic signals are being added at the Michael Street and Ingersoll Street intersections. • A 10-foot wide, paved, shared-use path will stretch along the north side of Dixie Road from Sightseeing Road to 1st Cav Division Road at Red Cloud Range. • The project also encompasses the road and bridge widening at the Marne Road interchange. That includes the relocation of Bass Road’s south end and the addition of a new southbound on-ramp from Marne Road to Lindsay Creek Parkway. • A traffic signal will be added on the east end of the Marne Road bridge at the northbound ramp intersection. Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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