Whittlesey Road Widening Project Postponed

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Drivers aren't shy to speak their mind about the nightmare on Whittlesey Road.

The congestion between Columbus Park Crossing and Bradley seems to be a constant problem.

"It's pretty bad around lunch time, lots of cars are coming by," said Columbus driver Tim Fransisco.

"I won't even come over here around rush hour, because it takes too long to get anywhere," said another driver, Carol Greer.

Sick and tired of the idling and the bumper to bumper backups, drivers say this road needs a face lift and fast.

"They need to hurry up and do it, you're going to have more traffic when Rob Doll opens his dealership," said Marta Truex, who works for Waddell Realty on Whittlesey Road.

Still, the congestion is here to stay...at least for another couple of years.

City planners say it all comes down to mistakes made by a DOT consultant as land for the project was being bought from area businesses.

"Now your dealing with people's livelihoods, and we've got to protect those, and make sure they are reimbursed as best as we know how," said Rick Jones, the director of Metropolitan Planning.

The city currently has 50% of the land they need for the project, and plan on finishing the right of way issues by this fall.

For drivers stuck in continuous traffic jams, though, it's not soon enough.

"It's just too little too late. There has been lots of talk, but nothing is being done," said Greer.

If everything goes to plan, city officials hope to start construction by spring 2010, but with the project taking 18 months to complete, it will be 2012 before people will be able to take full advantage of all four lanes...two years longer than the original date.