Cochran Bypass set to reopen next week, access to business road set to close

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COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Cochran Bypass will reopen next week.

According to the Cochran-Bleckley Chamber of Commerce, contractors will shift traffic onto the newly rebuilt US 23/State Route 87 June 21st.

Residents are excited about that because for the past year, traffic was detoured through Downtown Cochran.

“Friday afternoon though, you almost think you’re in Warner Robins,” said Randy Bryan, a long-time Cochran resident. “It can get kind of rough.”

Bryan’s trips to work and the post office have gotten longer.

“I come to the post office at 8 o’clock in the morning and when I leave at 5 o’clock , I can experience more wait times at the red lights/stop signs,” said Bryan.

“We are looking forward to the bypass opening, especially with getting those tractor-trailer trucks off the busy Second Street,” said Cochran-Bleckley Chamber of Commerce President, Nicole Ward.

She says she doesn’t really mind the traffic, it’s the trucks that cause unease.

“With the tractor-trailer trucks it’s been a bit of a hassle to through our narrow area right here in the heart of Cochran,” said Bryan.

Ward says even the police department has seen a few more fender-benders because of all of the traffic. But, come June 21st, Second Street won’t be so congested.

“87-bypass is actually opening up. So that’s actually going to be great for our to be able to relieve some traffic,” said Bryan.

The $21.3 million project connects to an existing five-lane section south of Cochran and to a four-lane section north of Cochran.

“Bypasses offer convenience and it’s going to be nice if you want a bypass and I do like the bypass,” said Bryan.

On that day, drivers looking to access State Route 87 Business from Foskey Road to Dykes Circle will have to use the Cochran Bypass. There will be signs to detour cars. Crews will tie that area to the newly widened highway.

The Georgia Department of Transportation expects that detour to last about 30 days.