AUGUSTA, GA - Widening of Interstate 520 underway between late 2011 and early 2013 expands Bobby Jones Expressway from four to six lanes between Exits 3 and 5 as part of a $30-million project. Associated work reconfigures full-cloverleaf interchanges at both U.S. 1 (Deans Bridge Road) and U.S. 78 & 278 (Gordon Highway) into six-ramp interchanges with the elimination of loop ramps from I-520 to the respective arterials. But drivers must slow down or the consequences could be fatal. Today an accident paralyzed traffic for quite some time.
Formally named the Bobby Jones Expressway, Interstate 520 (hidden Georgia 415) forms a loop around the western and southern portions of the Augusta east to bypass North Augusta, South Carolina. The freeway carries six lanes from Interstate 20 south to U.S. 1 (Deans Bridge Road) and four lanes from there eastward to the Palmetto Parkway portion in South Carolina.
Interstate 520 originally ended at Georgia 56 Spur (Doug Barnard Parkway). A February 1989 approved extension, lengthened the freeway five miles east to Sand Bar Ferry Road (GA 28) as part of $41-million in road work. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held ahead of the opening on July 31, 1998.
Initial expansion of the freeway to six lanes was underway between December 1997 and July 1999 between Interstate 20 and U.S. 78 & 278 (Gordon Highway). This $22.3-million project included the adding of auxiliary lanes between Wheeler (Exit 1C) and Wrightsboro Roads (Exit 2)
Sign replacements in 2000 coincided with a state-wide signing project that renumbered most Georgia Interstate exits from a sequential-based system to a mileage-based system. Several exits on I-520 remained the same due to the coincidence with mileposts, though exit numbers to the south were increased. The state transportation board approved the $6.5-million renumbering in 1997.
Originally a full-cloverleaf interchange joined Interstates 20 and 520 on the northwest side of Augusta. A $200-million upgrade took place between 2007 and October 31, 2009 that added new flyovers from I-20 west to I-520 east and I-520 west to I-20 west. Additional work focused on the expansion of Interstate 20 from four to six lanes in the vicinity of I-520, expansion of I-520 southward to Wheeler Road, and a new interchange between Bobby Jones Expressway and Scott Nixon Memorial Drive.