SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Construction on I-16/I-95 could be wrapping up late next year.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) anticipates Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 of 2023 for substantial completion of the interstate project.

However, as the project progresses and sections are complete, GDOT says it will open newly constructed, improved infrastructure, which will provide benefits to motorists prior to the substantial completion.

As of June 2022, the update on the improvement projects are as follows:

  • All right-of-way acquisitions are completed
  • Construction is active in all three zones along the I-16 and I-95 corridors
  • Construction progressing in the I-16/I-95 Interchange area consisting of 3 bridges
  • All bents have been constructed and all beams have been set on the “partial turbine” bridges. Deck concrete placement is currently ongoing
  • Construction of the new I-95NB bridge over I-16 is progressing. The new bridge will include a collector-distributor (CD) lane to help improve traffic flow and safety to and from I-16 and I-95
  • Construction of the new two-lane, emergency-use median crossover on I-16 between I-95 and SR 307/Dean Forest Road to aid in evacuations is in progress
  • Continue ramp construction at I-16 and I-95
  • Noise wall construction along the I-95NB to I-16EB ramp near the Southbridge residential area is ongoing and the first section has been completed
  • I-16 median widening of the general-purpose lanes is progressing between Dean Forest Road and I-516
  • Bridge construction is underway for the new I-16EB and WB bridges over Bunger Pit Road, Tremont Road, and CSX Railroad, and the widening of the I-16EB bridge over I-516

I-16 is designated as a Georgia State Freight Corridor and provides an east-west connection from I-75 to the Port of Savannah (the fourth busiest container port in the United States) with access to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. It also serves as a hurricane evacuation route for the Savannah area.

This project will widen I-16 from two to three lanes in each direction from west of I-95 to just east of I-516. 

GDOT says replacing the existing loop ramps located on the west side of I-95 with “partial turbine” configuration ramps will provide smoother, more direct connections. It will also construct/rehabilitate 12 bridges, add a collector-distributor lane on I-95 northbound to help improve traffic flow and safety to and from I-16 and I-95 and add lighting at the I-16/I-95 Interchange, the department says.

A two-lane, emergency-use median crossover on I-16 between I-95 and SR 307/Dean Forest Road will be constructed to aid in evacuation. However, the existing I-16 crossovers will remain operational until the new, two-lane crossover becomes operational. 

Lastly, Intelligent Transportation System technology, including cameras, and changeable message signs to provide real-time driving conditions to link to Georgia NaviGAtor will be installed.

The project benefits, according to GDOT, include:

  • Improved traffic flow and enhanced safety and operational efficiencies for passenger and heavy-freight vehicles
  • The CD lanes will help improve traffic flow and safety
  • Added highway capacity for more than 100,000 vehicles in metro Savannah
  • Georgia’s first utilization of “partial turbine” configuration ramps in an interchange
  • Through Design-Build, construction partners can accelerate the time to construction and yield significant cost savings to not only the project but the region
  • With the deepening of the Port of Savannah, more freight traffic is anticipated, and this project allows for greater capacity