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Funding might be roadblock to freeway

Corridor reaches toward Augusta

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Engineers say construction on the Fall Line Freeway project has gained momentum, but it will still take years for the roadway to reach Augusta.

Tracey McManus
Reporter
Twitter: @aug_mcmanus
E-mail | 706-823-3424

"I wouldn't even venture to guess it would happen in 2013," said Mike Keene, Georgia Department of Transportation Augusta area engineer.

Progress has been made in the Wilkinson County portion of the roadway, with two of five sections west of Sandersville near completion.

When complete, the Fall Line Freeway will be a 215-mile corridor connecting Columbus and Augusta. As of April, 83 percent of the freeway was open, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation's Web site.

Wilkinson County area engineer Kraig Collins said the two sections under way have "made progress," but he said those roadways still won't be complete until July 2012. "In certain sections, the only thing left is to top it with asphalt."

But the news will not accelerate construction in Richmond County, according to Keene.

Even when routes leading to the Augusta area are complete, officials are not sure how to secure funding to complete the freeway into Augusta.

Keene said officials are not sure if money will come from federal, state or local tax funds. Money could be used from a one percent sales tax measure that could be voted on in November, but that measure may not even make it to the ballot, he said.

"It's not at a stage right now where any funding would be pursued for it," Keene said. "There's no way of knowing until we get to that point."

If money is approved for the freeway, funds cannot be collected until the next fiscal year in July 2011.

"Each county and each municipality puts in the request for the funds and comes up with a plan for what projects are going to be done," Keene said.

"It may be in that money that would be a good place for it to be, but it all depends on what the government and transportation board come up with as priority projects."

Comments (7) Add comment
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Troy Infantoy
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Troy Infantoy 08/12/10 - 12:44 am
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"Even when routes leading to

"Even when routes leading to the Augusta area are complete, officials are not sure how to secure funding to complete the freeway into Augusta."

How typical of A/RC "planning" is this?

KingJames
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KingJames 08/12/10 - 06:42 am
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Troy, this is a Georgia

Troy, this is a Georgia Department of Transportation project, not an Augusta-Richmond County project. The poor planning was done by the state.

airbud7
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airbud7 08/12/10 - 08:27 am
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looks like augustas part of

looks like augustas part of the freeway is deans bridge road (us1) from north of wrens? http://www.dot.state.ga.us/informationcenter/programs/roadimprovement/GR...

Little Lamb
51866
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Little Lamb 08/12/10 - 08:41 am
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I was thinking similarly,

I was thinking similarly, Airbud. Perhaps the final leg of construction might be a Wrens bypass so you could get from Hwy. 88 (fall line freeway) to Deans Bridge without going through downtown Wrens.

Little Lamb
51866
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Little Lamb 08/12/10 - 08:55 am
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Looking at the DOT document

Looking at the DOT document so thoughtfully provided by Airbud, it says that the Fall Line Freeway in Richmond and Jefferson Counties is complete. So Mike Keene's comments in the above article don't make sense. Of course, it's not surprising that the DOT's field engineers don't have a clue about the true status of a major project.

Little Lamb
51866
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Little Lamb 08/12/10 - 09:00 am
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Here is what the DOT document

Here is what the DOT document says:

From the Sandersville Bypass to Wrens, the Fall Line Freeway is located on SR 88. Construction was completed in December 2004 from the Sandersville Bypass to SR 296 in Jefferson County. The corridor is open to traffic from SR 296 eastward to the US 1/SR 17 corridor in Wrens. From the east city limits of Wrens near the Gus Perdue Road along US 1/SR 4 to Sandy Run Creek in Richmond County, construction is complete. The final 14.9 miles of the corridor along US 1 from Sandy Run Creek to I-520 in the City of Augusta are complete and open to traffic.

I wish our intrepid Chronicle reporter would read these comments and reply. What in the world is Mike Keene talking about when he says, "But the news will not accelerate construction in Richmond County, according to Keene."???

J.W.
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J.W. 08/12/10 - 01:58 pm
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Sounds like a job

Sounds like a job for.....OBAMA MONEY! Hurry get it know while the inks still wet!

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