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College and West Main renovation nearly complete
Engineer says project is about 85 percent done
W 070913 COLLEGE STREET
A construction crew works to temporarily close South College Street between West Cherry and West Vine on Tuesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    Work that began in May to revamp a downtown intersection is nearly finished, according to engineers with the City of Statesboro.
    Despite several days of rain in recent weeks, contractors could finish reworking the crossroads of College and West Main streets sooner than they had planned.
    “We are about 85 percent done, I’d say. We are ahead of schedule,” said Marcos Trejo, an engineer with the city. “We are looking at being done around mid-month, though the contractors have until the end of July, plus a few buffer days, if they need it.”
    The approximately $674,000 renovation of the intersection was undertaken to create a safer environment for through-traffic, according to City Engineer Robert Cheshire.
    The bulk of the work being done is dedicated to widening lanes, making turns easier for drivers.
    “In the past, it was very tight and hard to maneuver,” Trejo said. “With the wider lanes and the wider radii we’re creating at all four corners, I believe there will be a lot of improvement.”
    Other maintenance items included in the project plans are: replacing utility lines that run underneath and alongside the road and installing new crosswalks and traffic poles/lights that will match the aesthetics of an upcoming streetscape project.
    Thus far, most of those tasks have been completed by Statesboro general contractor Y-Delta Inc.
    “We have all of the curbs and gutters put in, the sidewalks in place, and the crosswalks and traffic signal poles installed,” Trejo said Wednesday.
    Much of the utility work also has been completed.
    “The main components left to finish,” he said, “are grading and paving of the intersection, the striping of the new asphalt, and installation of light signals on the new poles.”
    Periodically, portions of North and South College streets have been closed to traffic while work progressed.
    According to Trejo, the streets will be shut down a few more times before the project is completed, including a four-day stretch in which the entire intersection will close for the paving and striping of streets.
    The only timeline that can be provided for the closure is “in the near future,” Trejo said, because work remaining is more weather-dependent than that which has already been done, meaning the schedule is subject to change.
    At best, the project could be completed within the next couple of weeks, Trejo said. The latest work is expected to continue is the through first week of August.
    “Overall, the project is looking good and we are really pleased,” he said. “I believe it will make a big difference for people driving through and for anyone walking by.”
    The project is funded by 2007 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.
   
    Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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