Valdosta Daily Times

October 14, 2013

Opening nears for Gornto Road Extension

Matthew Woody
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta has several roads that run north to south, but not east to west —that is, until now. The Gornto Road Extension will allow motorists to easily travel east to west across Valdosta by connecting Woodrow Wilson Drive to Gornto Road.

Before the extension was built, motorists who wanted to travel east to west were forced to turn and weave through several side streets from North Ashley Street to reach either Gornto Road or West Alden Avenue.

Pat Collins, city engineer said, “This project was identified in the city's adopted Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan in 2008, and we are pleased to see the project come to fruition for the benefit of our traveling public.”

The $1.9 million extension was paid for with SPLOST VI revenue, which includes drainage improvements, utility adjustments, right of way acquisitions and intersection alignment. The road is expected to ease traffic congestion on Northside Drive and Jerry Jones Road, while providing motorists faster access to the large commercial area near the Valdosta Mall.

“We also expect it to reduce emergency response times for South Georgia Medical Center staff and other City of Valdosta first responders, as well as improve traffic efficiency for those using the SGMC medical campus facilities, the VSU North Campus, and the Castle Park area,” Collins said.

The ribbon cutting will be held on Friday, Oct. 18, but the road will not open until the following Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Collins noted, “State laws require new signals to operate in flash mode for several days and you can’t put them into operation on Fridays or Mondays.”

Collins said the state's reasoning behind this law is that the most common days people take off from work are either Mondays or Fridays. The state wants to prevent the possibility of people rushing to work on a Monday morning and speeding through a working signal that was in flash mode the week before.

The city will hold the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Gornto Road Extension on Oct. 18, at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Woodrow Wilson Drive and North Patterson Street.