TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — Commuters can expect delays traveling to and from Tybee Island.

Officials say starting Monday, there will be continuous lane closures throughout January. U.S. 80 at Bull River Bridge and then at Lazaretto Creek Bridge will be affected.

These lane closures will be used to perform the required preliminary work for the future bridge replacement projects of both bridges.

Shawn Gillen, city manager of Tybee Island, said it’s important for this to be done.

“Part of that process and doing the preliminary engineering is they have to take core samples and to do that they have to shut down lanes to get on the street, to get on the roadway and take cores of the road surface,” Gillen said. 

The city manager also said the goal is to improve public safety and make sure both bridges are sound.

“Whenever there’s an accident, especially on the bridges, Bull River is such a long space there’s no room to get around it,” Gillen said. “So, when we have an accident, if there’s a fatality that bridge can be shut down for five hours or so. So, that means no one can access the island nor can we get off. Plus, the bridges are aging.”

Tony Harden frequents the island on a daily basis because of his vacation rental repairs company and said this will impact how he does his business.

“Yes, I do a lot of the deliveries myself, and so yes, I run back and forth to this island three times a day sometimes…more,” Harden said. “I have a lot of people working and I have to keep them supplied and so yes, that’s going to be a little difficult.”

Although drivers will experience a little bit of traffic, Gillen says to pack your patience and get out the door as early as possible.

“So, we just ask that everybody pay attention to that, it’s going to be 24 hours a day, so they need to plan ahead if they come on and off the island,” Gillen said. “Add 10 minutes or so to your trip cause you could get stuck at one of the lights, and have to sit there for 10 minutes or so.”

The lane closure is expected to reopen sometime in February, but it could reopen sooner if the work is completed. 

For more information click the link to SR 26/US 80 Project – Bull River & Lazaretto Creek Bridges project page SR 26/US 80 Project (arcgis.com).