Residents say $47M project to widen Buena Vista Rd. is 'long overdue'

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Traffic relief could be coming to a South Columbus area, popular for heavy congestion and high traffic accidents.

The Georgia Department of Transportation signing off on a $47-million project to widen the Buena Vista Road Bridge along Interstate-185.

Some say changes to the area are long overdue.

"I've seen plenty a people run into the back of people, hit the people in the back because they were standing still and they thought they were moving," said Zemar King who lives in the area.

"I'm from Buena Vista Road, I'm from Columbus, and I've lived on Buena Vista Road, so, the traffic is always heavy. It's really congested, especially getting off the bypass, it's really hard to get across the street too," said another frequent commuter, Natashia Bolden.

Changes to the area are something city officials have considered for quite some time.

The bridge transformation would include the construction of a Diverging Diamond Interchange. The intersection would be the first of its kind in Columbus.

According to GDOT, A Diverging Diamond Interchange crosses traffic to the opposite side of the road across an interchange so vehicles have unimpeded movement onto the freeway ramps.

The intersections also reportedly offer great safety benefits including, fewer conflict points, eliminating wrong way entry to ramps, reduced speeds, and minimal driver confusion.

People in the area are hopeful for what's to come and possible changes.

"I think widening the road, for me would be a little bit scary, I think it would be helpful. Traffic would be able to move a little easier," said Bolden.

Zemar King says the widening project is, "long, long overdue."

Possible construction set to begin in 2020.

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