Work on the Red Bay roundabout has squeezed traffic to and from Savannah and the eastern districts into one lane and several detours, slowing commutes to a crawl for several days this week, and backing traffic up for miles.
The good news is that the project to widen and rebuild the roundabout is almost two weeks ahead of schedule and the National Roads Authority plans to lay down the final paving this weekend or Monday, according to NRA senior engineer Edison Jackson.
The work began more than a month ago to widen the roundabout to three lanes and workers are changing the angle of the roundabout to slope inwards, meant to make the road safer for motorists. The roundabout originally sloped outwards, making it easier for vehicles to slide off the road.
“Things went better than we expected,” Mr. Jackson said. With all the factors that go into widening a roundabout that remains open to traffic, including underground utilities, shifting traffic patterns and unpredictable summer weather, he said a combination of thorough planning and luck helped the project go quicker than initially anticipated.
Mr. Jackson said he originally planned to pave the road by Aug. 20, but now that could be done as soon as Monday, depending on the weather.
The diversions on Shamrock Road and through Prospect Point will continue until the roundabout is completed.
Linford Pierson next
The National Roads Authority has plans for more work in the area in the coming years, including widening the east-west arterial from the Dr. Tomlinson Roundabout to Grand Harbour. Roads crews have already started clearing along the Linford Pierson Highway for a widening project there.
Mark Scotland, heading the Linford Pierson project for the National Roads Authority, said the first phase of the project will be to widen the highway to four lanes with a median from the Silver Oaks Roundabout at the First Assembly of God Church to Agnes Way, a little more than a mile.
Mr. Scotland said plans to widen the rest of the highway are still in the works, with some negotiations still ongoing with landowners along the road. “Some property issues are ongoing,” he said.
He said he expects crews will be out in the coming week to start excavating the areas that have been cleared to prepare the land for the utility and paving work to come.