Georgia DOT nears completion of work to restore routes, signals to service

Published 12:29 pm Monday, October 15, 2018

In the aftermath of destruction left by Hurricane Michael, Georgia DOT Special Response Teams and local crews continue to work diligently to clear debris and blockages from state routes – primarily in southwest and west central Georgia where the impact of the storm was the worst – and to repair signals that were damaged or destroyed. Great progress has been made in just four days since the storm passed.

Georgia DOT continues to work in partnership with the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) and state and local officials. Nearly 1,400 Georgia DOT personnel were deployed statewide to respond immediately once the storm passed.

As of Monday morning, crews had cleared more than 12,000 centerline miles of state routes in Georgia, with all but one route – SR 45 in Colquitt – open to traffic; SR 45 is expected to reopen later today. A total of 247 routes were impassable, closed or reported to have debris just following the storm, with the majority of those routes being in hardest-hit southwest and west central Georgia.

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Significant progress has also been made replacing damaged or destroyed traffic signals and returning signals to service. Nearly 300 signals were left damaged or without power immediately after the storm. Currently, fewer than 25 signals across the state are experiencing outages; at many locations, Georgia DOT employed generators to service signals that were without power. Other locations received temporary reflective stop signs, which were removed when power was restored.

Work to restore Georgia to normalcy continues today. Georgia DOT currently has 18 teams working on local city and county routes; these teams consist of approximately 540 people utilizing 413 pieces of equipment. Crews are embedded with the GFC Incident Management Team based in Tifton, and will work closely with both GFC and local Emergency Management Agencies on remaining needs.

While nearly all state routes have been cleared and are passable, debris caused by fallen trees and brush remains along many rights-of-way. Georgia DOT will work to clear that debris in the coming days and weeks, and asks the patience of Georgia citizens as work continues to clear the devastation caused by one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S.

Motorists are encouraged to use caution to ensure their safety.

  • Use extreme caution as some intersections are still without power. Drivers should always treat flashing red and non-operational signals as a four-way stop. Drivers are advised to stop, look in all directions, and proceed only when safe to do so.
  • Call 511 to report downed trees or other obstructions that impede travel on roadways or bridges.
  • Do not drive around barricades that are in place for motorist’s safety.
  • Residents should never clear tree limbs, downed trees or debris from roadways, as live power lines could be tangled in debris and cause injury or death; instead, wait for Georgia DOT and Georgia Power crews.

For real-time road conditions, or to learn if a particular route is open to traffic, call 511, visit Georgia511 or download the 511 app to your mobile device.