I-20 upgrades will benefit Aiken County drivers

Traffic heading east on I-20 crosses the Savannah River Bridge before entering South Carolina. Drilling will begin Tuesday on the bridge in anticipation of the bridge replacement and widening project by Georgia Department of Transportation and South Carolina Department of Transportation. 

Beginning Tuesday, Interstate 20 travelers will see work being done on the bridge replacement and widening project at the state line.

Geotechnical boring work will begin Tuesday, Jan. 22.

"Borings will occur nightly in various median and bridge locations on both the Georgia and South Carolina side for up to 18 nights of overall work," according to an email from Kyle Collins, district communications specialist with Georgia Department of Transportation.

Traffic impacts will be from the hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., the email says, adding certain sections of the drilling may run longer.

The project will replace the existing I-20 Augusta Canal and Savannah River bridges, according to an October release, and widen the highway from four to six lanes between the Georgia Welcome Center to Exit 1 at West Martintown Road in North Augusta.

"Actual construction/groundbreaking is not scheduled to begin until much later in the year, and actual bridge work probably won't start until early 2020," Collins says in an email.

It says the anticipated completion for the project is January 2022.

The project is the first bi-state design-build agreement between Georgia and South Carolina. The construction was officially awarded to Superior Construction Company for $72 million, Collins said. 

Adam Humphries with the South Carolina Department of Transportation said they partnered with GDOT on the project, with GDOT taking the lead.

“South Carolina Department of Transportation funded half of the main span bridge over the Savannah River, as well as the cost of the widening from the bridge to Exit 1,” Humphries said.

He added that SCDOT will be providing oversight and review of the construction and designs.

Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.