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Work begins to install cable median barriers on I-20 in Newton County
Could lead to lane closures in Newton, five other counties, before 2022 completion
Cable median barrier
Work was to begin today, June 14, on a project to install a cable median barrier between I-20 in Newton County and the Augusta area by mid-2022. - photo by Georgia Department of Transportation

A project to install cable median barriers that could periodically lead to lane closures on I-20 in Newton County is set to begin today in Covington.

Nationwide Construction Group was to begin work on the $8.048 million project that covers median locations currently lacking the barrier in Newton, Taliaferro, Warren, McDuffie, Columbia and Richmond counties. 

Crews will kick off daytime shifts today and Tuesday, weather permitting, on shoulder grading work around Exit 93 in Newton County going east, a GDOT news release stated. 

By midweek, contractors start inside lane traffic impacts to pour concrete footings from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Most of this early work requires a shoulder closure, but at times the total inside lane may be shut down for a distance.

The barriers are designed to reduce highway crossover crashes that typically result in fatalities or severe injuries.  

This will ensure safety barrier presence throughout the entire corridor and add the structures on I-520, also known as Bobby Jones Expressway, near Augusta.

The Federal Highway Administration said cable median barriers are "cost-effective means of reducing the severity of median crossover crashes," the release stated. 

The cable barrier system going along I-20 is four-cable longitudinal designed to contain and redirect errant vehicles. This will match systems installed the last three years on I-16 and I-20 in east central Georgia.

Cable barrier, as a median barrier, is softer, resulting in less impact force and redirection, are more adaptable to slopes typically found in medians, and can be installed through less invasive construction methods.

Completion was expected by summer 2022, the release stated.

Cable barriers
The parameters of the cable median barrier installation project are shown. - photo by Special to The News