Local businesses excited for widening of Whittlesey Road - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Local businesses excited for widening of Whittlesey Road

COLUMBUS, GA -

For years, drivers have complained around the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Whittlesey Road in Columbus.

Crews have been working on a project that is expected to relieve much of that congestion for about a week now.

When Stacey Hammock walks out his front door, his Columbus neighborhood is just a few steps away from all the work along Whittlesey Road.

However, he says he does not mind.

"It just opens up the area now, but I think it is for the betterment of the community. So, I agree with it," said Hammock.

The work is something that so many Columbus drivers have been waiting for. Officials with Georgia Department of Transportation say for about a week, crews have been working on a project to widen parts of the congested two lanes of Whittlesey Road to four lanes with a median and 5-foot sidewalks.

"We usually have traffic backed-up all the way past our business out here and almost all the way back up to Whitesville Road especially at Christmas time," said Pat Robinson.

Robinson's business, the Columbus Book Exchange, is right next to all the work. He is excited for the project, but he is worried it might hurt his business.

"It is just we will miss getting new customers who might be driving by who see our sign or something like that," said Robinson.

A few doors down at Gorilla Guitars, Glen Giles says he thinks in the end the road widening will bring in more customers to the shopping center.

"If they've done traffic studies and they saw how many cars are on the road now, well, that number is only going to increase when the road is done which will be better for me and every other business," said Giles.

Officials tell us there have not been any traffic impacts because of the $9 million project, but Hammock says it might cause some driving problems.

"For a while, it will cause a few inconveniences but it is going to be worth it," said Hammock.

Officials say the project is expected to be completed by April 2015.

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