SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) The long awaited widening project on Gwinnett Street in West Savannah is underway. Get used to the construction, it’s going to last up to two years.
We are going to do widen and raise Gwinnett Street and the project is anticipated to take approximately 24 months.” Heath Lloyd, Asssitant City Manager, city of Savannah, says Heath Lloyd, assistant city manager for the city of Savannah.
The street is being widened to four lanes from Interstate 16 to Stiles Avenue and sidewalks, bike lanes and pedestrian lighting will be installed as part of the project. Lloyd says the plan also includes much needed drainage work. “We are widening the canal for future improvements to the canal,” says Lloyd. So underneath Gwinnett Street is the Springfield Canal. We’re going to go ahead and widen that section of the canal to be prepared for future work upstream and downstream of Gwinnett Street.”
Lloyd says he thinks most residents on the west side have figured out the detour at this point which uses Louisville Road and Stiles Avenue for ultimate westbound traffic. He also told me while the new arena project is proceeding just a few blocks away that the street widening and drainage work was needed regardless.
“We’ve been talking about widening Gwinett Street or raising Gwinnett Street, different versions of it for probably 15 or 20 years now,” Lloyd told us. “That huge work is critical for all of the neighborhoods in Savannah not just the arena project.
He told us the Springfield Canal stretches all the way to Liberty City. “We can look a these projects and say they’re all a function of the arena but this one in particular is really not, what this one really is is a beautification project.”
He also acknowledges that Gwinnett improvements are needed to pave the way for the arena ,
“Obviously, those projects will interact there’s some synergies there and so when we look at the timeline for Gwinnett Street we also have to take into consideration the first opening act of the arena, that’s going to be critical, that’s going to be a very important entrance way for the arena.”