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Officials warn of traffic delays on eve of Tanger Outlets opening in Pooler

  • Ian Maule/ Savannah Morning News- Customers seek shelter from the rain under a Polo Ralph Lauren store during the pre-opening party for the Tanger Mall on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015.
  • Ian Maule/ Savannah Morning News- Members of the Imperial Opa Circus run out to avoid the rain during the pre-opening party for the Tanger Mall on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015.
  • Ian Maule/ Savannah Morning News- Customers watch members of the Imperial Opa Circus Perform during the pre-opening party for the Tanger Mall on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015.
  • Ian Maule/ Savannah Morning News- A Customer watches members of the Imperial Opa Circus Perform during the pre-opening party for the Tanger Mall on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015.
  • Ian Maule/ Savannah Morning News- Customers walk by employees at Bath & Body Works during the pre-opening party for the Tanger Mall on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015.

Airport and Pooler officials are warning commuters to expect delays today in anticipation of the new Tanger Outlets opening off Pooler Parkway and Interstate 95.

A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the grand opening stage near the Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store. Co-developers Steven Tanger, president and CEO of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, and Ben Carter of Ben Carter Enterprises will be on the stage along with government and community leaders.

Mayor Mike Lamb said city staff has long been preparing for the traffic on the big day — and all the days after it.

For this week’s opening festivities, Lamb said the city has been coordinating with mall staff, law enforcement at the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport and the airport’s biggest employer, Gulfstream Aerospace, to ensure that traffic moves smoothly.

“There’s been a lot of planning,” Lamb said. “When you put that many cars and that many people in an area, it’s going to be bad. We’re going to continue to address those types of things. We’ve been working on a long-range plan for a long time.”

Law enforcement agencies will be on site at five intersections for traffic control from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to an alert from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Passengers should plan to arrive at least two hours before departure to ensure they catch their flight.

Pooler Chief of Police Mark Revenew said his department has requested help from other agencies to help his officers maintain their services during what promises to be an unusually busy weekend. Officers from the Garden City, Port Wentworth and Bloomingdale departments will be enlisted in traffic detail.

“There’s a lot that goes on in the background such as designating schedules and radio channels, inspecting equipment and other things that are invisible to our visitors,” he said via email. “We’ve notified our wrecker service to be on immediate standby.”

He said priorities include traffic accidents, stranded motorists, lost children and keeping the flow of traffic going.

“We’ve worked Black Friday for years at our local big box retailers, which are some of the southeast’s highest producing stores,” he said. “So any time you have large crowds you have to anticipate and be prepared to handle anything, but planning for the unknown is always difficult.”

Several long-term improvements are also being explored and studied by the Georgia Department of Transportation, especially at the congested 104 exit off I-95. Officials are encouraging commuters and visitors to be patient and perhaps consider alternative routes if visiting the mall.

 

THREE WAYS TO GET TO TANGER

1) Travel I-16 W toward I-95 N. Take I-95 N to Airways Avenue and use exit 104. This will be the most congested exit.

2) Travel I-16 W toward Pooler Parkway exit 155, turn right at the light and travel north on Pooler Parkway to Tanger Outlet Boulevard.

3) Take U.S. 80 W until approaching Pooler Parkway overpass. Make left at stoplight to merge onto Pooler Parkway overpass and travel north to Tanger Outlet Boulevard.

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THREE WAYS TO GET TO TANGER

1) Travel I-16 W toward I-95 N. Take I-95 N to Airways Avenue and use exit 104. This will be the most congested exit.

2) Travel I-16 W toward Pooler Parkway exit 155, turn right at the light and travel north on Pooler Parkway to Tanger Outlet Boulevard.

3) Take U.S. 80 W until approaching Pooler Parkway overpass. Make left at stoplight to merge onto Pooler Parkway overpass and travel north to Tanger Outlet Boulevard.

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