The 3-1/2-year-long widening project of Ringgold’s Ga. Highway 151 (Alabama Highway) is on schedule, according to Georgia Department of Transportation officials, and the plan is to set beams on the roads two bridges later this month.

The nearly $35 million project, which began in June 2017, consists of the widening and reconstruction of Ga. 151/Old Alabama Highway from approximately 3,200 feet south of Rollins Industrial Boulevard/Holcomb Road through the I-75 interchange to U.S Highway 41, for a distance of approximately 2.07 miles.

The widening is from a two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided with a 20-foot raised median to Boynton Drive/Lafayette Street, and a flush median to U.S. 41.

The earliest stages of the project have involved the replacement of the existing bridge over I-75 and the bridge over South Chickamauga Creek near Walgreen’s, and the reconstruction of the existing interchange of I-75 at Ga. 151.

According to GDOT Communications Officer Mohamed Arafa, the project is still on pace to be completed by 2020.

“Work on the project is progressing at a normal pace,” Arafa said. “The project is still on schedule and on budget. It is currently about 25 percent complete. The GDOT contractor, C.W. Matthews Co., is about to complete work on ramp D. They have also installed spread footings for the bridge over South Chickamauga Creek. They are scheduled to set the beams on the bridge over South Chickamauga Creek on July 14. The setting of the beams on the bridge over I-75 is scheduled for July 28 and 29.”

The upcoming bridge work is expected to create more traffic congestion as crews navigate the construction.

“This work will require some lane closures,” Arafa said. “We will let the traveling public know 7-10 days in advance of the details of this beam setting operation.”

Arafa added that weather permitting; the project should be completed on time.

“The entire project is scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2020, at a construction cost of $34,596,916,” he said. “There has been no change so far in the project’s timeline. We are hoping for some cooperation from Mother Nature, so we can complete the entire project on time.”

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.