Bobby Jones Expressway stretch to be widened

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A $30 million widening of Bobby Jones Expressway is included in $97 million in funded projects announced Monday by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

With construction contracts expected to be ready soon, the project likely will get under way by the end of the year, according to Don Grantham, the DOT’s Tenille district commissioner.

The project includes the addition of a lane on Bobby Jones, also known as Interstate 520, in both directions between Deans Bridge Road and Gordon Highway, widening the section from four to six lanes.

“It’s really going to be good, because a lot of traffic gets bottled up there,” Grantham said.

The project has been in the works since Grantham’s predecessor on the transportation board, former DOT Chairman Bill Kuhlke, was in office, Grantham said. Both men are former Augusta Commission members.

“We finally got everything done, and we’re awarding the contract now,” he said.

The project includes improving the busy Bobby Jones interchange at Walmart on Deans Bridge Road, Grantham said.

Other projects announced by DOT on Monday include cable barrier installations in Dawson, Lumpkin, Douglas, Carroll and Haralson counties, and the award of a $52 million contract to replace 11.5 miles of Interstate 75 in Dooly County.

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Vito45
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Vito45 10/03/11 - 09:30 pm
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"It’s really going to be

"It’s really going to be good, because a lot of traffic gets bottled up there,” Grantham said.'

Really? I can think of a few other places where traffic REALLY gets bottled up at rush hour; like a few exits on I-20.

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 10/03/11 - 10:44 pm
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Well, this explains why we

Well, this explains why we haven't been able to get sound barriers along that section of Bobby Jones during 10 years of trying.

BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 10/04/11 - 12:26 am
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Well no surprise here when

Well no surprise here when you have the king of local Pork, Don Grantham on the state DOT board.

countyman
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countyman 10/04/11 - 01:23 am
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Pork?? I-520 needed to be

Pork?? I-520 needed to be widened atleast twenty years ago. The project is severly needed for the residents of South Augusta.

I'm expecting to see the Target shopping center opening in South Augusta sometime future.

The retail portion coming to Southwest Augusta(Jimmie Dyess Pkwy, Gordon Hwy between Jimmie Dyess and Harlem) is further ahead though. The 10k sq. ft. Shoppes at Dyess Park should definitely start by the end of the year and the 25 acre shopping center 2011/early 2012.

BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 10/04/11 - 02:35 am
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road widening actually

road widening actually increases traffic congestion. What solves it is smart planning which does not exist in Augusta.

BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 10/04/11 - 02:45 am
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anyone know what line of

anyone know what line of business Kuhlke and Grantham are in? That might explain the real motivation here. I travel that stretch of Bobby Jones frequently and rarely ever see any "bottlenecks" unless there is a major accident. This stretch of Bobby Jones just doesn't have the traffic volume that the portion north of Gordon Highway has, so I just don't see the necessity of this. Now something that should be done is to reconfigure the cloverleaf interchange at Deans Bridge Rd. It's dangerous. I remember when they widened Gordon Hwy to 8 lanes when traffic and commerce were actually in decline on that stretch of road. It was completely unnecessary. If you really want to help out south Augusta then do something to fix Hwy 56. Some turning lanes would do a world of good to improve the safety on that deadly road.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/04/11 - 06:39 am
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BevBoudreaux, you are so

BevBoudreaux, you are so right....if they really want to help out South Augusta, something needs to be done about Hwy 56 from Tobacco Road to at least Brown Road. If you are making a turn, you best turn your signal on in plenty of time, pump those brake lights and hope the drivers coming up behind you like a bat out of *** see's you and stops in time. A simple turning lane would work wonders.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/04/11 - 06:51 am
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A better solution would be a

A better solution would be a high median whereby you cannot turn left except at designated spots.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/04/11 - 06:56 am
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Countyman up above talks

Countyman up above talks about the "Shoppes at Dyess Park," and he calls it "southwest Augusta." I'm sorry, but if you look at a map, no one in his right mind would call that area "south" anything. And the shopping center being constructed is actually on the north side of Gordon Highway. No way that is "south Augusta."

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/04/11 - 07:11 am
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LL, I believe countryman said

LL, I believe countryman said southwest Augusta - "The retail portion coming to Southwest Augusta(Jimmie Dyess Pkwy, Gordon Hwy between Jimmie Dyess and Harlem) is further ahead though"

I believe what he referred to "The project is severly needed for the residents of South Augusta." is correct. From the Hwy 56/Brown Rd/Old Waynesboro Rd area, people living in these areas have to travel more than 30 minutes to get to any descent shopping areas. Not sure how much time would require getting to this new shopping area but the traffic can't be as bad as the traffic congestion on Bobby Jones from the Gordon Hwy area all the way to Washington Road.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/04/11 - 07:15 am
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I disagree Little Lamb. Hwy

I disagree Little Lamb. Hwy 56 definitely does not need a high medium. The medium isn't going to stop you from getting rearended. This road has a high volume of traffic and needs to include a center turning lane. People are not going to slow down and the only way to keep you safe while turning is to get you out of the line of fire.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/04/11 - 07:19 am
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Oops....saw where you

Oops....saw where you corrected your post Little Lamb. sorry

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/04/11 - 07:37 am
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InChristLove posted: From the

InChristLove posted:

From the Hwy 56/Brown Rd/Old Waynesboro Rd area, people living in these areas have to travel more than 30 minutes to get to any descent shopping areas.

Well, I hate to break the news, but you folks in the Brown Rd. and Old Waynesboro Rd. areas will still have to drive more than 30 minutes to get to the Shoppes at Dyess Park. And when you get there, you will have a nice nail salon, tanning salon, Little Caesar's Pizza place, but little else to fulfill your shopping desires.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 10/04/11 - 08:55 am
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OOOH....Ya'll are so

OOOH....Ya'll are so naive...that area will soon be jumping & certain "folks" know this...I told you to buy some land in that area but you just wouldn't listen!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/04/11 - 10:23 am
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Well Little Lamb, the way

Well Little Lamb, the way countryman explained it, I thought it was going to be a huge shopping area. Well nothing like painting your nails, browning up the skin a bit and getting a good bite to eat, I guess. :)

Dipshot
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Dipshot 10/04/11 - 10:56 am
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are you saying that countyman

are you saying that countyman exaggerated a local development project? You must be kidding? By the way, does anyone know the status of that Forum development that was planned near the interchange of I20 and Walton Way Ext? I remember the people in the subdivision next to it were opposed to it. But nothing seems to have come of it. And wasn't that like 4 or 5 years ago? I have not heard anything more about it.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 10/04/11 - 11:03 am
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Regarding the Forum project:

Regarding the Forum project: All I saw them do was go in and cut the forest down for the timber. It's just sitting there bare now.

whyme
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whyme 10/04/11 - 11:14 am
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They can widen the road if

They can widen the road if they want but it won't make folks drive better. You're wrong if you want to go the speed limit or even 60-65 in the left lane, folks just merge randomly getting onto Bobby Jones from Deans Bridge towards W. Augusta (tho the exchange is so short they figure you have to take a chance), and turn signals remain optional items so you have to be a psychic to figure out what folks are doing. And really, do we have that much traffic that we needed to make that monstrosity of a flyover in the middle of the highway?
Good luck with this.

countyman
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countyman 10/04/11 - 11:28 am
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Inchristlove.. The 25 acre

Inchristlove.. The 25 acre shopping center and the 10k sq. ft. Shoppes at Dyess Park are diffrent.. The Shoppes at Dyess Park will be located behind Zaxby's and it's apart of Dyess Park.. Dyess Park is a mix-use development that includes around 13 lots and space for a hotel.. Zaxby's, Freedom Park, and Child's World are already apart of Dyess Park.. Dyess Park is located between Belair rd and Harper Franklin except for the hotel property.

The 25 acre shopping center is located between Harper Franklin and Gordon Hwy.. They didn't install traffic signals just for the 10k sq. ft. retail center and new homes in Granite Hill and Elderberry.

Dipshot.. The Forum was cancelled and replaced with upscale apartments and a retail section..

Dipshot
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Dipshot 10/04/11 - 11:26 am
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Cancelled? What happened? Is

Cancelled? What happened? Is it possible that Augusta is over saturated with retail? It does seem like they could wait until a project has the financial green light to proceed before they go and clear cut the land

countyman
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countyman 10/04/11 - 11:36 am
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The recession, Village at

The recession, Village at Riverwatch and Augusta Mall expansion happen. The Forum was changed to a gated upscale apartment complex and 75k sq. ft. of retail back in 2008.. I actually think Augusta is catching up in terms of the retail.. The Village at Riverwatch and 18k sq. ft. Cherry Street shopping center are both underway.

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 10/05/11 - 09:00 am
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I've seen plenty of cars

I've seen plenty of cars flipped coming on and going off Bobby Jones at Deans Bridge. It's a nightmare getting on and off there. I try to avoid it and that can be very inconvenient. I'd rather be inconvenienced than dead.

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