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Proposal allots $25 million for Broad Street work

Transportation sales tax

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When Steve Cassell gets out of his car on Broad Street in downtown Augusta, the door tries to close by itself. That’s a problem he attributes to an overly steep 8 percent grade on a road that needs work.

Meg Mirshak
Staff Writer
Twitter: @megmirshak
E-mail | 706-823-3228

As the city’s traffic engineer, Cassell sees Broad Street as a patchwork of problems and quick fixes. Frequent maintenance issues keep road crews busy filling potholes or digging up pavement to reach systems underground, he said.

To modernize the antiquated and problem-ridden infrastructure system in downtown Augusta, Cassell hopes the public will vote to approve a special 1 percent sales tax transportation fund.

Improvements to Broad Street were allotted $25 million in the list of proposed projects that will receive funding if the vote passes next year. The CSRA regional transportation roundtable’s executive committee approved the list in mid-August after a series of meetings were held throughout the summer to narrow down the number and cost of projects. The full roundtable will grant final approval to the list after holding two public hearings.

“Basically, we’re proposing to rebuild the streets,” Cassell said. “A lot of that stuff is more than 100 years old.”

A 7-mile stretch of Broad Street running through the central business district from Washington Road to Sand Bar Ferry Road needs pavement resurfacing and a reconstruction of its curbs, gutters, sidewalks and storm drainage system, according to the project description.

Cassell said addressing infrastructure needs is critical to a continued revitalization of the downtown corridor.

“We’re dealing with a very old city with very old infrastructure,” he said. “If we ever want to move forward, we’ve got to do this.”

Additional proposals aim to address long-term maintenance needs of the city’s transportation network in downtown Augusta, said Andy Crosson, the executive director of the CSRA Regional Commission, in an e-mail statement. Similar infrastructure work was detailed in $19.2 million and $9.8 million proposals for Telfair and Greene streets, respectively.

Several bridge repair and reconstruction projects near downtown, including the Fifth Street bridge and bridges over the Augusta Canal at Seventh, Eleventh and Fifteenth streets, are slated for funds from the transportation tax, which still needs legislator and voter approval.

Although it could change, the public vote on the transportation tax is scheduled for the July 2012 general primaries. Collection will begin in 2013 if the tax passes.

The first of two public hearings required by the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 will be held Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Julian Smith Barbeque Pit, 3 Milledge Road. Project reports and descriptions will be available for review and comment.

Roads through downtown Augusta are major traffic arteries that warrant monetary investment, said Augusta Commissioner Joe Jackson, who serves on the CSRA regional transportation roundtable.

The Broad Street project could begin within the first three years of transportation tax collection, Jackson said.

Infrastructure along Broad Street is not immediately failing, but has needed tending to for nearly two decades as its condition worsens, Jackson said.

Comments (23) Add comment
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commonsense-is-endangere
43
Points
commonsense-is-endangere 09/01/11 - 06:14 pm
0
0
The only thing he sees wrong

The only thing he sees wrong on Broad St is an overly steep 8 percent grade?

Little Lamb
50701
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Little Lamb 09/01/11 - 07:56 pm
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0
Folks, you are not going to

Folks, you are not going to believe what I am going to tell you, but it is true. First, go get a glass of iced tea or a glass of bourbon on the rocks (same color), and sit down - - - - - - -

are you sitting yet? - - - - -

Okay, did you catch the phrase up above that said, ". . . a 7-mile stretch of Broad Street running through the central business district from Washington Road to Sand Bar Ferry Road needs pavement resurfacing and a reconstruction. . . ." ? Well, what they are talking about is to demolish John C. Calhoun Expressway! Yes, you read that right.

A strange bedfellow coalition of the black community and the Harrisburg Neighborhood Association believes that the John C. Calhoun Expressway is the number one impediment to peace, prosperity, love and racial harmony in the city. The black community hates the life, accomplishments, and very idea of John C. Calhoun. They wish there could be a deeper level in hell created just for him and him alone. Meanwhile, the Harrisburg Neighborhood Association believes that the John C. Calhoun Expressway robs them of millions of dollars of commerce every year that would come their way if commuters from West Augusta and Columbia County to Downtown would have to stop at six extra traffic lights and two extra four way stops on every commute as they travel downtown and back.

Folks, I urge you to vote NO! on the upcoming TSPLOST next spring.

Riverman1
98879
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Riverman1 09/01/11 - 08:16 pm
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0
Little Lamb, I thought the

Little Lamb, I thought the road was named after Calhoun who was a lawyer character on a certain well known 50's TV show.

Little Lamb
50701
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Little Lamb 09/01/11 - 09:00 pm
0
0
:-)

:-)

Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 09/02/11 - 12:31 am
0
0
Riverman1, You're

Riverman1,

You're correct.

Algonquin J. Calhoun, aka Algonquin John Charles Calhoun, is the person for whom the John C. Calhoun Expressway is named. Because of a prescient appreciation for the political fallout from using an Indian name in the nomination of the roadway, our town's leaders wisely chose to delect A.J.C. Calhoun's first name from the road's name.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 09/02/11 - 12:54 am
0
0
actually LL you are wrong

actually LL you are wrong about why people in Harrisburg would like to see JCC expressway gone. It was a mistake from the very beginning. It cut the neighborhood in half. It's like having a berlin wall right through Harrisburg. These kinds of expressways are neighborhood killers. It has absolutely nothing to do with wanting commuters from Columbia County to stop at redlights in harrisburg and hopefully spend money. The JCC Expressway is an anachronism, especially since The Riverwatch Pkwy was built and connected directly to the medical district. How many people from Columbia County actually use the JCC Expressway to get to work anyway? Very few if any. I challenge anyone to drive down it during rush hour and you can count the number of vehicles using it on one hand. It is a waste to maintain. It is not needed. It is not wanted. It was a mistake from its inception. But I'm sure it was built not out of need but because certain people conveniently bought up the land where it was destined to be built and made a killing off of it. I-20 anyone? But atleast I-20 serves a vital function in the 21st century. The only function The JCC expressway serves is to divide an historic neighborhood. So the thing is the road is not needed anymore, it is loathed by the neighborhood it divides in half, and it is expensive to maintain. Why would we want to keep this anachronism on life support. It kind of reminds me of another wall that divides Augusta from it's river.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 09/02/11 - 01:00 am
0
0
Now that doesn't mean I am

Now that doesn't mean I am advocating the T-SPLOST funding mechanism by any means. But the time has come for the JCC Expressway to dissappear

Brad Owens
5068
Points
Brad Owens 09/02/11 - 05:02 am
0
0
JCC Epwy could become green

JCC Epwy could become green space. One large central park like the rest of Greene St.

Remove the hump and use the dirt to fill in all the pot holes on the south and east side of the city.

Brad

Brad Owens
5068
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Brad Owens 09/02/11 - 05:02 am
0
0
Everyone should show up to

Everyone should show up to this, "The first of two public hearings required by the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 will be held Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Julian Smith Barbeque Pit, 3 Milledge Road. Project reports and descriptions will be available for review and comment."

Riverman1
98879
Points
Riverman1 09/02/11 - 06:21 am
0
0
$25 million because his car

$25 million because his car door closes too fast? Can't we get one of those things from Home Depot that keeps your door from slamming for him?

seenitB4
103486
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seenitB4 09/02/11 - 06:50 am
0
0
Better watch out-----yaknow

Better watch out-----yaknow cm friends will come on & call you whiners again.....just because you DARED to express your opinion....yeehaw....we must be getting to them!!

justthefacts
26967
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justthefacts 09/02/11 - 07:01 am
0
0
I agree with ECD on the JCC.

I agree with ECD on the JCC. It was a mistake from the get go. But, how much would it costs to take it down and redesign the traffic flow now?

floridasun
396
Points
floridasun 09/02/11 - 07:59 am
0
0
The Calhoun Expressway was

The Calhoun Expressway was definitely a mistake. Like another poster said,remove the expressway and turn the space into a park or greenway. This could go a long way in reviving the Harrisburg neighborhood and hopefully adding to the tax base of Augusta

Susan McCord
138
Points
Susan McCord 09/02/11 - 09:06 am
0
0
I understand the arguments

I understand the arguments for dismantling or shortening John C Calhoun (it was included in the "Master Plan" even) but there's another TSPLOST item on the current list - Calhoun Expy - Repair and reconstruction - $8,505,470 - that doesn't sound like demolition

dichotomy
39164
Points
dichotomy 09/02/11 - 09:38 am
0
0
Okay South Richmond County,

Okay South Richmond County, heads up. They are now asking for SPLOST and TSPLOST, pluse the 2% they already get, a total of 4% local sales tax, so that you can pay for them to redo Broad St. and associated utilities from stem to stern for the old city folks, relocate Berkmanns Rd. for the benefit of the Augusta National, and probably tear down the Calhoun Expwy for the benefit of Harrisburg. You will also be asked to support a bunch of useless DOWNTOWN charities and small audience special interests arts organizations as part of the next SPLOST.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, South Richmond County residents pay higher taxes than them, and higher garbage fees than them, and YOU GET NOTHING. When you drive your local roads, dodging potholes and 4 ft. deep ditches, you will notice that there is no indication, not one, that you are part of Augusta until you stop at the mailbox and get your tax bill.

I am not questioning the need for the proposed projects and the benefit to THOSE residents. I am merely questioning why there is any reason for South Richmond County residents to support ALL of OUR tax money, plus all SPLOST money, plus all TSPLOST money, totaling 4% of everything we purchase in this county, plus all of our regular property and ad valorm tax money, being spent DOWNTOWN and in West Augusta.

South Richmond County residents.....there is absolutely no reason for you to support SPLOST or TSPLOST. You will never get anything from the Downtown regime and none of these projects are for your benefit. Go to the polls everytime they stick one of these things on ANY election, whether you vote for political candidates or not. Vote NO on SPLOSTS and TSPLOSTS until the Downtown regime changes their attitude about South Richmond County. Vote NO until we are getting OUR FAIR SHARE of the spending, and until they EQUALIZE all of the tax rates and FEES (garbage, etc.) for ALL residents of the so called (in in name only) consolidated City of Augusta. The ONLY thing that ever got "consolidated" was COUNTY taxpayers money into the DOWNTOWN old city area. You know it, they know it, everyone knows it. Consolidation was the worst thing that ever happened to the suburban and rural Richmond County residents.

dichotomy
39164
Points
dichotomy 09/02/11 - 09:41 am
0
0
Okay South Richmond County,

Okay South Richmond County, heads up. They are now asking for SPLOST and TSPLOST, pluse the 2% they already get, a total of 4% local sales tax, so that you can pay for them to redo Broad St. and associated utilities from stem to stern for the old city folks, relocate Berkmanns Rd. for the benefit of the Augusta National, and probably tear down the Calhoun Expwy for the benefit of Harrisburg. You will also be asked to support a bunch of useless DOWNTOWN charities and small audience special interests arts organizations as part of the next SPLOST.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, South Richmond County residents pay higher taxes than them, and higher garbage fees than them, and YOU GET NOTHING. When you drive your local roads, dodging potholes and 4 ft. deep ditches, you will notice that there is no indication, not one, that you are part of Augusta until you stop at the mailbox and get your tax bill.

I am not questioning the need for the proposed projects and the benefit to THOSE residents. I am merely questioning why there is any reason for South Richmond County residents to support ALL of OUR tax money, plus all SPLOST money, plus all TSPLOST money, totaling 4% of everything we purchase in this county, plus all of our regular property and ad valorm tax money, being spent DOWNTOWN and in West Augusta.

South Richmond County residents.....there is absolutely no reason for you to support SPLOST or TSPLOST. You will never get anything from the Downtown regime and none of these projects are for your benefit. Go to the polls everytime they stick one of these things on ANY election, whether you vote for political candidates or not. Vote NO on SPLOSTS and TSPLOSTS until the Downtown regime changes their attitude about South Richmond County. Vote NO until we are getting OUR FAIR SHARE of the spending, and until they EQUALIZE all of the tax rates and FEES (garbage, etc.) for ALL residents of the so called (in in name only) consolidated City of Augusta. The ONLY thing that ever got "consolidated" was COUNTY taxpayers money into the DOWNTOWN old city area. You know it, they know it, everyone knows it. Consolidation was the worst thing that ever happened to the suburban and rural Richmond County residents.

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 09/02/11 - 03:28 pm
0
0
No express ways in columbia

No express ways in columbia county is the main problem. columbia county streets bring all their traffic straight to downtown augusta. columbia county is the roadblock to augusta's future development. all columbia county has is sub-divisions after sub-divisions that impede any future infrastructure to build main arteries to support the city of augusta. columbia county don't know if they want to be a city to compete with the city augusta or just be a small bunch of country towns with all the convenience of what augusta has to offer. if there is to be any 1cent sale tax it should be east central georgia wide. and if possible the whole 12th district. This is how atlanta grew until it got large enough to benefit all the surrounding counties. not by surrounding counties in composition with each other. Aiken county has done more to support the city of Augusta than any other counties in the C.S.R.A. and they are in S.C.

Riverman1
98879
Points
Riverman1 09/02/11 - 03:35 pm
0
0
CryoCyber, where would you

CryoCyber, where would you have the other end of some type expressway in Columbia County go?

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 09/02/11 - 03:53 pm
0
0
You see my icon with the sign

You see my icon with the sign of MCG logo. it's located on Washington Road in Appling, Columbia County, Ga

Little Lamb
50701
Points
Little Lamb 09/02/11 - 04:14 pm
0
0
Maybe CryoCyber has a grand

Maybe CryoCyber has a grand plan to extend John C. Calhoun Expressway instead of demolishing it. Can't you see it now — instead of dipping from its apex down to Washington Road at Lake Olmstead, CryoCyber's JCC Expressway would rise into the sky to reach an apex somwhere near Warren Baptist Church before gently descending to deposit motorists back onto the ground near Evans First Baptist Church. That infrastructure improvement should make countyman's heart go pitter patter.

Little Lamb
50701
Points
Little Lamb 09/02/11 - 04:22 pm
0
0
Susan McCord wrote: I

Susan McCord wrote:

I understand the arguments for dismantling or shortening John C Calhoun (it was included in the "Master Plan" even) but there's another TSPLOST item on the current list - Calhoun Expy - Repair and reconstruction - $8,505,470 - that doesn't sound like demolition.

Wow! Thank you for bringing that item to our attention, Susan. I was basing my musing upon that John Shields "Master Plan" that the city paid so much for. So Sheilds says, "Tear down this expressway, Mr. Copenhaver!" - - - but the TPLOST projects committee says, "We need $8.5 million to repair and reconstruct the expressway."

So much for Shields and his expensive study. Oh, well, we got a lot of pretty watercolors showing crepe myrtles at the "gateways" for our money spent on Shields.

Riverman1
98879
Points
Riverman1 09/02/11 - 04:24 pm
0
0
LL, oh me, that 5:14 was

LL, oh me, that 5:14 was funny.

dstewartsr
20393
Points
dstewartsr 09/02/11 - 05:35 pm
0
0
"...This is how atlanta(sic)

"...This is how atlanta(sic) grew until it got large enough to benefit all the surrounding counties... " That's a knee-slapper. Ask any of the beneficiaries of Atlanta's largesse, especially the white suburban areas, just how much benefit they get. There's this huge campaign to gain annexation, much of it financed by Atlanta, and once the new areas are incorporated, it's, "Wel-l-l-l-l-l- we can't provide that like we thought..." The taxes go in, nothing comes out. Sorta like the city of Augusta and old Richmond County.

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