ALBANY — Widening two sections of a South Georgia highway connecting Albany and Valdosta is among the $85 million in transportation improvements announced by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The four-laning of Georgia Highway 133 going through Moultrie has long been a priority project for Dougherty County officials, and the GDOT allocation is the first step in a process that likely will take most of this decade to complete. The 66-mile route is a Governor’s Road Improvement Program (GRIP) corridor. The GRIP program began in 1989 and is designed to ensure that virtually all Georgia communities have close assess to four-lane state highways and the Interstate Highway System.
The two sections approved by GDOT are in Colquitt and Brooks counties.
The Brooks segment includes widening and four-laning 6.7 miles of Highway 133 extending from Pauline Church Road to Troopeville Road. The $20.7 million contract was awarded to Reames and Son Construction Co. of Valdosta and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2016.
The Colquitt County project includes a 4.4-mile section of the Moultrie Bypass that is already mostly four lanes. The contract for $15 million will include improvements, including widening, two-way turn lanes, sidewalks, and curb and gutter. Reames Construction also was the winning bidder on the Colquitt County work. That part of the project is expected to be completed by July 31, 2016.
Nita Birmingham, a spokeswoman for GDOT in Tifton, said three other segments of the Highway 133 project were expected to be let this summer but have been delayed pending federal funding.
“All the prep work, the preliminary engineering, has been done, so when funding is available, they will be ready to let,” Birmingham said. “There’ll be no delays on that.”
Those three segments of the project are also in Colquitt and Brooks counties. The bulk of the work involves 17.49 miles of four-lane work in Colquitt County and 5.43 miles in Brooks County.
Work in Dougherty County is not expected to begin until September 2018 at the earliest, Birmingham said.
The final four segments of the nine that are part of the project include:
— South of State Route 45/U.S. Highway 319 to north of the Colquitt County line, Colquitt and Worth counties, 13.87 miles.
— From north of the Colquitt County line to north of State Route 112, Colquitt and Worth counties, 6.49 miles.
— North of County Road 459 to County Line Road, Dougherty and Worth counties, 3.73 miles.
— North of County Line Road to north of Holly Drive, Dougherty County, 8.11 miles.