Whether drivers are fine with construction or cannot wait for it to end, traffic on Verona Road is shifting Wednesday into Thursday, entering the project’s next phase of construction.
It takes Amanda Hippensteel longer to drive from her apartment to the Beltline than it does to walk.
“The biggest problem is how backed up the construction is making traffic. It takes 20 minutes to go two blocks, usually if you're coming at rush hour,” Hippensteel said.
Atlas Rogers is training to be a bus driver and rides the stretch of road under construction every day, and he’s impressed with the progress.
“It has not really been that bad over here, you know, it's been kind of smooth,” Rogers said. “Except for the few people that haven't adjusted or want to make a quick turn here or there, but otherwise everybody's been following direction and instructions and going the proper way.”
The Department of Transportation expects crews to be shifting traffic to the newly constructed northbound lanes from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday. All drivers will still be confined to two lanes from the Beltline to Raymond Road.
The DOT said delays are likely on Verona Road during that 14-hour time frame as crews work to divert traffic to its new configuration and as motorists adjust.
“The best thing I can say is be patient with us in the morning,” project leader Jim Grender said.
Grender, with CGC, Inc., said the first round of traffic should be merging onto the new road between 10-11 p.m. Wednesday. Crews will begin their work two hours before that, moving the barrier walls to new positions.
“The biggest concern is trying to get all of the traffic signal lights working in conjunction with where the traffic's at. That's the most challenging part of the whole switch,” Grender said.
Grender said the construction is right on schedule, despite the rainy June. Crews will start tearing up the old pavement Thursday afternoon. That side of Verona Road, what will be the southbound lanes, is set to be finished sometime in November.
“We're going to keep trying to make things accessible to everybody and make sure to make it look like Verona Road is open,” Grender said.
A detailed map of changes along Verona Road is available online.