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Westover Road extension highlights upcoming road projects in Lee County

Construction will begin good on the extension of Westover Road in Lee County connecting Ledo Road and Fussell Road. This view is from Fussell Road. (Staff Photo: Danny Carter)

Construction will begin good on the extension of Westover Road in Lee County connecting Ledo Road and Fussell Road. This view is from Fussell Road. (Staff Photo: Danny Carter)

LEESBURG — Road preparation and storm drainage work is under way on a Westover Road extension project that will run from Ledo Road to Fussell Road.

Bob Alexander, planning and engineering director for Lee County, says a contract will be let soon for base and paving work, which likely will be completed by next March.

Lee County’s long range transportation plan calls for Westover Road to be further extended from Fussell Road to Forrester Parkway in 2017.

Another project expected to be completed soon will be 1.5 miles of paving and storm drainage on Livingston Road, starting at State Route 118 and heading south. Alexander says utility relocation is already under way on the Livingston Road project.

Other road work on this year’s calendar include some resurfacing work on Century, Ledo, Stocks Dairy and Thundering Springs roads.

The big project on the horizon, Alexander said, is construction of the North Bypass near Leesburg.

That federal and state project is scheduled for 2014.

“This will connect State Route 195 going west to Old Smithville Road, then going further west with a bridge over the railroad and U.S. 19,” Alexander said.

“This will improve traffic on the north side of Leesburg, especially for the school traffic. They will not have to come back downtown, but can utilize the bypass and distribute traffic more easily.”

The North Bypass project has a projected cost of $7.1 million. The cost to replace a bridge on State Route 32, also scheduled in 2014, is $10.5 million.

Also in 2014 is a project extending pavement on Armena Road. The former dirt road has already been paved from U.S. 82 to Murphy Road. This project will extend the pavement from Murphy Road to State Route 32. The cost is $475,000, paid for by SPLOST funds and state money.

Plans are to add a new traffic signal on U.S. Highway 19 in 2014. The signal would be located at Highway 19 and Century Road. The existing grade of the highway makes it difficult for people traveling on Century Road to see traffic on 19 as they attempt to cross the busy roadway.

Lee Commission Chairman Rick Muggridge said the state had considered changing the grade of the roadway by 11 percent, but that plan did not materialize.

One of the major projects set for 2015 is the Forrester Parkway Extension, at a cost of $5.7 million. This project will be funded by SPLOST VI money.

“This will be a five-mile extension,” said Alexander. “It will give us a 10-mile connection from State Route 91 West to Robert B. Lee and take some of the truck traffic out of downtown. The part from 91 to U.S. 19 is already done.”

Two major projects are in the long range plan including a Westover Road underpass from Albany Mall to Ledo Road. That work, tentatively set for 2019, would cost an estimated $16 million and would be a state and federal project.

Ledo Road widening from U.S. 19 to Nottingway is on the 2026 schedule at an estimated cost of $20 million. That plan, and schedule, could be altered depending on further study and traffic counts.