GDOT Begins Work on Liberty Expressway

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Liberty Expressway vegetation removal is about to begin to help avoid a repeat of downed trees and power lines that shut down a lane of the busy Albany highway for several days last year.

It was necessary to close a lane for the safety of utility crews making repairs after severe storms in January 2017. Debris blocking roadways is one of the reasons the Georgia Department of Transportation's Southwest District is contracting for the removal of trees and vegetation on the state route right of way.

The maintenance is also being done for the public's safety. Colliding with a tree was the third most frequently reported fixed object crash in 2017. Vehicle vs. tree collisions resulted in 161 fatalities, 939 serious injuries and 1,325 visible injuries last year.

Trees and vegetation are being removed in order to reclaim state route right of way, clear drainage structures and remove hazards to the public. Some trees may be pruned. Vegetation may not be dug up and stumps will be ground level with the surface.

The Southwest District has awarded two maintenance service contracts totaling $592,320 for vegetation removal on SR 520/SR 3/Liberty Expressway between Holly Drive and the Flint River. It includes exits and ramps. Work around the interchanges will consist of pruning, trimming, removing dead trees and thinning vegetation to improve the appearance of the landscape. The work must be finished in 120 days once contractor Trees Consulting LLC starts. Drivers should watch for flaggers as single lane closures may be needed.

Georgia DOT representatives have been corresponding for several months with local government officials to keep them apprised of the work to be done.