|As construction of the new I-16/I-95 Interchange continues, the 16@95 Improvement Projects team is preparing to move into the next phase of construction with the widening of I-16. Beginning in June, widening activities on I-16 will be underway between I-95 and Chatham Parkway. The I-16 widening will modify the existing four-lane roadway with grassed depressed median section to a six-lane, concrete, barrier-separated section. The new roadway section will ultimately provide three lanes on I-16 in both the eastbound and westbound directions. As shown in the image above, a third travel lane will be added to both I-16 eastbound and I-16 westbound on the inside of the current travel lanes (towards the existing median). A new permanent barrier wall will be constructed between the eastbound and westbound travel lanes on I-16 within the projects’ limits. While most of I-16 travel lanes will be separated by a concrete median barrier, some sections will have guardrail or cable barrier.|
|Here is what to expect in the coming months as part of the I-16 widening:|
|Asphalt will be placed on top of the existing concrete lanes on I-16.|
|1. Asphalt overlay|
The existing concrete lanes of I-16 will be overlaid with asphalt. During this time, lane closures will be common as crews work in one lane while keeping the other lane open to traffic. Drivers should be extra cautious while traveling through the work zone and expect roadway surface elevation differences of up to 2” between the lanes during asphalt surfacing. This phase will take approximately two months. Anticipated hours for construction activities Monday through Friday that will impact traffic:Daytime: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Evening/Night: 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The projects’ design-build team, Savannah Mobility Contractors (SMC), may work weekends due to previous weather delays when weather permits.
|Temporary barrier walls are in place to enhance safety for crews working in the median.|
|2. Traffic shift|
Once the existing lanes and outside shoulders are resurfaced with asphalt, traffic will be shifted to the outside lane and shoulder to allow crews to safely work in the median of I-16 behind temporary concrete barriers. This traffic shift is anticipated through the end of 2021.
|3. Earthwork, drainage, and barrier wall|
The current median will be transformed as the ground is prepared for construction of the new inside lanes. A new permanent concrete median barrier wall will also be constructed in this section to enhance safety. Foundations for new highway signing, changeable message signs, and cameras will be installed as part of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) infrastructure improvements to provide real-time driving conditions within the projects’ limits.
|The new emergency crossover will have two lanes for improved efficiency and operations.|
|4. Emergency Crossover|
A new, two-lane, emergency-use, median crossover will be completed by the end of 2021. The crossover will allow for a safe and efficient contraflow of traffic along I-16 in the event of an emergency evacuation or hurricane. The two-lane crossover will improve speed variation, logistics, decrease delay/congestion, and better prepare the region for an evacuation, which is one of the most demanding set of circumstances regarding transportation operations and management. The new crossover will be located to the west of the current crossover on I-16 between I-95 and Dean Forest Road. Completion of the new crossover is anticipated by the end of 2021. Once the installation of the new crossover is complete, the existing crossover will be closed and removed for roadway widening work.
|Bridge Replacement Work to Begin|
|Replacement of the existing I-16 bridge over the CSX rail line and Bunger Pit Road, located just west of the I-16/I-516 Interchange, is also on the horizon. The bridge replacement sequence is expected to take approximately 10 months.|
|1. Lane Shift|
Lanes for both I-16 eastbound and westbound will be shifted to the outside lane and shoulder to allow for work in the median and construction of temporary lanes.
|2. Eastbound bridge replacement|
All traffic will be shifted to the I-16 westbound lanes to allow for the demolition and construction of the I-16 eastbound bridge.
|3. Westbound bridge replacement|
Once the new I-16 eastbound bridge is constructed, traffic will shift to the new bridge to allow for the demolition and construction of the new I-16 westbound bridge.