Forget April showers bringing May flowers. Residents and business owners along Brawley School Road want to see asphalt and sidewalks covering the ground.
According to Drew Baucom, Rea Contracting superintendent of the Brawley School Road widening project, they will begin to see just that. "The month of April is kind of a big month for us," said Baucom.
Commuters can expect to see the completion of many of the projects designed to alleviate rush-hour jams that the road has become infamous for since construction began in 2008.
A new westbound lane will be added, along with a designated left turn lane to keep traffic running smoothly along Brawley School Road.
Travelers will also see relief this month when the Oak Tree Road turn lane is lengthend to prevent the backup problem caused during the widening project.
"People trying to make lefts are just not having enough room, and then it holds up the main line, which backs up to the other signals, which eventually backs up to Williamson," said Baucom.
Construction began in 2008 to widen Brawley School Road from two lanes to a four-lane road, a decision deemed necessary due to the rapid growth in neighborhoods along the Brawley peninsula. Charlotte-based Rea Contracting has been in charge of the project.
The transition from two to four lanes has been difficult for commuters, who have seen drive times triple from the bumper-to-bumper traffic congestion on the only road leading in and out of the peninsula.
Baucom said crews returned to the job site in February, a few weeks earlier than expected because of unseasonably nice weather. From Feb.14 to the end of March, workers logged 6,346 hours.
During that time they poured 4,000 feet of sidewalk, widened, paved and put curb and gutter on Morrison Plantation, and completed all basic storm drain work.
Crews also spent eight days cleaning up, grading,and seeding from Oak Tree Road to the new fire department.
"I'm hoping people noticed how much better it looks down there," said Baucom.
The 8.82 inches of rain that fell in March did cost the crew 11 workdays, said Baucom.
"The half-inch rains don't kill you as bad once every two or three weeks. But when you get the one-inch rain, and then three, four days later, you get another half inch, you're just never dry enough to ever start anything."
Plans next involve paving, grading and installing curb and gutter on Williamson Road, as well as the grading and paving of Oak Tree Road. Finishing remaining signal pole foundations will be completed as well.
All three jobs should be finished by the end of the month, said Baucom.
In May, the final lift of asphalt will be added to the road.
Weather permitting, Baucom said the project, which when finished will also include bike lanes, is still on schedule for a July completion date.