Residents and motorists traveling Veterans Parkway (U.S. Highway 27) in north Columbus certainly have noticed preparation for major road construction in the area.
The latest information from Georgia Department of Transportation communication manager Katina Lear indicates that widening of the roadway from Old Moon Road north to Turnberry Lane -- a little more than a mile -- is just over two years from completion. The official date is June 30, 2017.
Crews have cleared right-of-way for expanding the road from two lanes to four with a raised median, although there will be turning lanes and traffic signals at key spots, including the Old Town development now underway.
The GDOT says it also is purchasing right-of-way property for a future six-lane section "that will widen to the inside." Improvements also are expected at the intersections of Moon and Williams roads.
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"Old Moon Road will be slightly realigned and improved at its intersection with U.S. 27," said the GDOT. "The actual project endpoint will be around Hancock Road by the time tapers (lanes reducing traffic to two lanes again) are constructed."
Cost estimates associated with the project, according to GDOT, include nearly $610,000 for preliminary engineering, about $18.5 million for right-of-way, and just under $16.7 million for actual construction.
McMath-Turner Construction Co. is listed as the contractor.
A 2012 Georgia Department of Transportation traffic count shows roughly 15,300 vehicles a day pass through the intersection of Veterans Parkway near American Way. That's the general site for Northside High School, Veterans Middle School and North Columbus Elementary, all three just north of the Old Town development.
The route also is a major artery for residents of Harris County going to and coming from Columbus for work, shopping and medical care.