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Fourth and final Collins Hill ramp opens

This weekend, traffic crews will make more room for work on the interchange at Ga. Highways 20 and 316.

This weekend, traffic crews will make more room for work on the interchange at Ga. Highways 20 and 316.

 Motorists who travel on Collins Hill Road will now be able to reach eastbound 316 without taking a detour.

According to Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Teri Pope, the fourth and final ramp opens Friday evening.

GDOT officials did not expect the ramp to be finished before Sunday, July 20.

“If it’s ready, we’re going to open it,” Pope said.

The other three ramps have been open since last month. The exits ramps from Ga. 316 onto Collins Hill Road opened on June 20 and the ramp from Collins Hill Road to Ga. 316 westbound opened on June 22.

The news of the final ramp opening comes on the heels of a slight delay in another part of the project. Both lanes of traffic on the Collins Hill bridge were scheduled to open July 18, but the opening was delayed due to the need to complete striping on the roadway. Currently, only one lane is open in each direction.

“The lanes could open late Monday or Tuesday,” Pope said.

Once those lanes open, work will shift eastward to the Ga. Highway 20 interchange.

“Then the focus will be on getting Ga. 316 back where it is supposed to go,” Pope said. Traffic is currently forced off Ga. 316, up exit ramps to a signal, across Ga. 20, and then back down ramps onto Ga. 316. Pope said the transition will be done in stages.

The $37.4 million project, which includes both the Ga. 20 and Collins Hill interchanges, has a project completion date of May 31, 2016.

“We hope to get all the work done at the interchanges this calendar year,” Pope said, adding that landscaping and pipeline work will continue into 2016.