Once construction is complete, engineers say the bypass will allow highway travelers to avoid stopping at two intersections and the school zone in Georgiana, which could hurt some local businesses.
After nearly three years of construction, the Georgiana mayor says he is hopeful the Georgiana bypass will bring new businesses to the city, "We feel very strongly that eventually some businesses will come to Georgiana, because we feel that it's just going to play a major impact there," says Mayor Jerome Antone.
Employees who work at one of the intersections that will be bypassed, have mixed feelings about the project. Nicole Walker, a Kirby's employee, says she hopes the new highway will also bring new opportunity, but, she's a little scared because of the effects new roads have had in other small towns.
"A lot of our service stations are going to be bypassed, you know, it's the little stuff like that where a lot of people that help the community. They are going to be losing business, so they won't be able to help our schools and sponsor stuff like they normally do," says Walker.
Andy Harrelson, the manager of the Food Giant grocery store in Georgiana, says they rely mostly on business from the community, so he is not concerned about the new road, "I'm excited about it. I believe any time you've got any new projects going on it's always a prospect of prosperity through it."
Community members like Youshiko Thomas say they are also hoping this new road will help their city economically, "You know maybe we can get more restaurants, and more stores, and more businesses coming through, I think it's going to be very well."
Engineers say the Georgiana Bypass project should be completed by the first of the year and they say this bypass will help speed up evacuation time in the event of a hurricane or natural disaster.