Augusta-area transportation project list will go to voters

The 13-county Augusta-area transportation roundtable gave final approval Tuesday night to a $621 million list of projects to present to voters next year.

 

The vote was unanimous in the final meeting, which was held in the Columbia County Library.

“I thought it went really well,” said Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, who led the roundtable, made up of mayors, commissioners and legislators. “All the real work had already been done by mayors, commissioners and their clerks. So tonight was really more of a formality.”

A five-member executive committee of the roundtable has held meetings since January.

Members of the roundtable made three amendments to the original version that did not change the overall cost:

• Reducing the projected cost of a proposed passing lane on Georgia Highway 43 between Thurmond Lake and Thomson from $6.2 million to $5.5 million. The reduction came from correcting an error in the original map from the state Department of Transportation.

• Reducing the amounts of improvements to Robinson Avenue through Grovetown at the city’s request. The budgeted cost went from $11 million to $8 million.

• Adding improvements to Wrightsboro Road from Lewiston Road to Robinson Avenue to support increased motor vehicle capacity. This project was added back, using money that had been part of the projects in the first two amendments.

The projects will be presented to voters to be funded with a new 1-cent sales tax in a referendum next year.

Todd Long, the director of planning for the Department of Transportation, said the state does not have enough funding for transportation infrastructure and more cuts are imminent in the next transportation bill.

The proposed sales tax project-funded total for the region is $841 million in a 10-year period.

Staff Writer Susan McCord contributed to this article.

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