Lockett seeks to remove or lower Calhoun Expressway

Friday, Aug 1, 2014 8:56 PM
Last updated Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 3:35 AM
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Augusta Commission member Bill Lockett is reviving a push to explore removing or lowering all or part of John C. Calhoun Expressway.

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A rare backup, Masters traffic during 2010.  Jeff Janowski/ 2010 Chronicle file
Jeff Janowski/ 2010 Chronicle file
A rare backup, Masters traffic during 2010.

The three-mile state route, which whisks commuters from Washington Road through Harrisburg onto Greene Street at 12th Street, has “stymied economic development in the community” and “impeded development of potential high-producing parcels of land,” Lockett said as he requested to present the item for study to the commission Tuesday.

Lockett said he had learned of other U.S. cities securing federal funding to demolish their freeways when he attended conventions in other cities.

San Francisco, Boston, Portland, Ore., and Chattanooga, Tenn., have removed or downgraded one or more of their freeways, but altering one of Augusta’s commuter arteries couldn’t be undertaken without substantial study and state and federal involvement, city officials said.

“That’s one of the main corridors into the city,” Engineering Director Abie Ladson said. “You’re going to increase the traffic on River Watch.”

Daily traffic counts are about 25,000 vehicles each for Calhoun and River Watch, according to Steve Cassell, the interim deputy administrator and the city’s traffic engineer.

Lockett isn’t the first to suggest removing all or part of the 40-year-old Calhoun Expressway to improve livability in the areas it intersects.

Removing the newest portion of Calhoun – the elevated ramp below 15th Street – was a recommen­dation of the 2009 Westobou Vision Plan, a master plan developed for downtown and downtown North Augusta, and was reiterated in 2010’s Augusta Sustainable Development Agenda, a master plan for all of Richmond County.

The plans’ recommendations weren’t a part of discussions going into development of the project list for the 2012 Transportation Investment Act, which included instead about $8 million to refurbish Calhoun’s barrier walls, lighting and signs.

The agenda item is No. 38 for the commission’s Tuesday meeting, which begins at 2 p.m.

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Pops
12397
Points
Pops 08/01/14 - 09:00 pm
22
1
This ought to be good.

Can't wait on his evidence that opening up portions of Harrisburg is going to provide economic development.........

chrishardyworld
42
Points
chrishardyworld 08/01/14 - 09:39 pm
20
0
yeah, they did that in Boston

yeah, they did that in Boston - it was called "the big dig". it took 20years to complete and cost 14 billion. don't use that as inspiration, people.

just an opinion
2839
Points
just an opinion 08/01/14 - 09:40 pm
15
0
Really? He's really recommending we lower the expressway?

I guess we could raise property taxes and get it done.?

dichotomy
36254
Points
dichotomy 08/01/14 - 10:25 pm
21
1
Does Lockett run his mouth

Does Lockett run his mouth just to hear himself make noise? That's just like 'em. Got a few tax dollars in their pocket now and just can't wait to spend them on some harebrained, totally unnecessary DOWNTOWN project. I'll expect Marion to be bring up his flying Broad St. skyway any time now. We will be broke again before all the tax collections are made. But hey, what did you expect?

Hello hello.....it's us out on the south end. Can we get our tax money back and secede now.

ColCo
905
Points
ColCo 08/01/14 - 10:37 pm
18
0
Lockett's magic

What does he propose for the area around Milledge road that is HIGHER than Calhoun Expressway? Tear down the houses and demolish the bridge so he can lower the surrounding terrain? No wonder the city is dying. Please Please Please somebody file the Federal lawsuit to break up the consolidated government while the CSRA still has time to recover.

iaaffg
3144
Points
iaaffg 08/02/14 - 04:53 am
18
0
once again, one of the
Unpublished

once again, one of the commission members prove that it doesn't take intelligence or even a modicum of common sense to gain a foothold in richmond county politics.

geecheeriverman
3717
Points
geecheeriverman 08/02/14 - 04:54 am
18
0
travel

Commissioner Lockett said he learned of other US cities securing federal funds to demolish freeways when he attended conventions in other cities. He has certainly been to many US cities on conventions, on the A/RC taxpayers dime.

Riverman1
90449
Points
Riverman1 08/02/14 - 05:52 am
13
1
Do Away With I-20 Too

Do away with I-20, too, while you're at it, why don't you?

seenitB4
93610
Points
seenitB4 08/02/14 - 06:11 am
11
3
Washington RD

Why not make Washington Rd higher?? Makes as much sense....also tunnels on Broad St.....& a water way behind Broad...wow....this can be fun to dream up new roads...

Can we put a walkway over the Savannah too?

wildman
1195
Points
wildman 08/02/14 - 06:27 am
14
0
Why

Why? This is about the stupidest thing seen in the paper in a long time. Good grief!!!!

corgimom
36696
Points
corgimom 08/02/14 - 06:39 am
14
2
What harebrained idea will he

What harebrained idea will he come up with next?

KSL
140145
Points
KSL 08/02/14 - 06:45 am
8
1
There are people who vote for

There are people who vote for him?

Pops
12397
Points
Pops 08/02/14 - 06:45 am
16
1
How about proposing to

dig up and move the Augusta National Golf Club to the Laney Walker area to raise property values.......

AutumnLeaves
9593
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/02/14 - 07:04 am
15
0
Do away with Calhoun

Do away with Calhoun Expressway? Are you kidding me? One of the few roads around here that does not have potholes ever couple of yards? One of the nicest things about Augusta is the view of Sacred Heart and Greene Street at coming toward the city on Calhoun Expressway and it eliminates having to drive through Broad street's numerous intersections in one of the depressed and crime-ridden areas of the city.

obkad
222
Points
obkad 08/02/14 - 07:10 am
9
0
hum

Stupid is as Stupid does.

Gage Creed
18867
Points
Gage Creed 08/02/14 - 07:15 am
8
0
Gondolas

I've been to many conferences where cities are using gondolas to ferry residents from the 'burbs into the urban core (gag). I think we need to commission a study to use gondolas. (sarcasm off)

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 08/02/14 - 07:20 am
0
0
the drones have already impregnated Lockett's brain. LOL
Unpublished

the drones have already impregnated Lockett's brain. LOL

KSL
140145
Points
KSL 08/02/14 - 07:22 am
9
1
Apparently there are those

Apparently there are those who believe there is a never ending flow of tax money.

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 08/02/14 - 07:25 am
0
0
Lockett's Pillars of Society. Ignorance and Apathy.
Unpublished

Lockett's Pillars of Society. Ignorance and Apathy.

nocnoc
47192
Points
nocnoc 08/02/14 - 07:36 am
7
2
Really Tinkle Poor Timing

ANOTHER GRAND DOWNTOWN focused Multi-Million Dollar Pipe Dream Project.

Didn't the Commission just agree to raise taxes to cover a $5 Million Short Fall, can't pay for realistic salary increases, already has too many hidden "Service Taxes" and here we have a Commissioner purposing we spending $100's of Millions for another

NEW DOWNTOWN PROJECT?

Even if the FED's approved the project, ARC will be expected to chip in 10% to 15 % as a local buy in to split of the cost.

Where is ARC going to come up with another $10 to $15+++++++ Million?

Serious what is the goal ?
To drain the County tax payers for every possible DOWNTOWN Improvement and previous Political mistake, before cutting ties and re-chartering the City?

Pops
12397
Points
Pops 08/02/14 - 07:35 am
9
0
I think Lockett is attempting

to be a little proactive in his defense of the numerous, wasteful trips he has been taking on the taxpayer dime. With the recent vote to increase taxes, questions are going to arise about wasteful spending. This is nothing more than his feeble attempt to say he actually learned something from these vacations.......

KSL
140145
Points
KSL 08/02/14 - 07:35 am
7
1
Augusta has a lot of problems

Augusta has a lot of problems to solve before they try to be like San Antonio.. Do not get the cart before the horse. Where oh where is the Golf Gardens. Where oh where is Fort Discovery?

nocnoc
47192
Points
nocnoc 08/02/14 - 07:50 am
5
1
KSL - I seem to remember

When the express way built saying it was more Pork Barrel than a solution.

Remember some of the reasons used?

It will bring more Masters visitors downtown.
It will allow quick access to Washington Rd and I-20.
It will revitalize Augusta.....
It will allow access to the Hospitals when the trains are blocking the streets.
It needed to cost $$$$$$ because it needs to be XX feet high?

Which brings up a few other issues:
Training the Bridge down near the Church needs to be XX feet high to allow a train car to pass under.

Stop Light timing on Green Street that never seemed to happened like was promised

But I'll stop there...

ONCE ARC CAN AFFORD IT
and if commissioners still have a a wild hair in dark places to SPEND $$$$$, they should start looking outside of the Gordon Hwy. Because there is plenty that needs doing South of Gordon Hwy along US 25 and US 1 & US 78.

MrClen1944
326
Points
MrClen1944 08/02/14 - 08:28 am
6
0
At least he done learnt

At least he done learnt something at one of those conferences. Come on Marion, you and Big Al have got to show us something as astute as this. River, I bet if I-20 was removed, there could be all kinds of development out there. Bobby Jones is killing South Augusta. It ain't the taxes, crime or stupid politicos. Can I say stupid?

belle
309
Points
belle 08/02/14 - 08:01 am
0
0
Give the man a break.
Unpublished

He isn't the first to suggest it. Lowering the expressway from milledge rd area on would make the neighborhoods that flank it more visible thus hopefully reducing crime. However, taking that same money and putting it toward heavier police patrols in those areas would do the same. At least he is thinking forward. Removing it is not an option, it helps the ambulances reach the hospitals quicker

jpbrig
277
Points
jpbrig 08/02/14 - 08:25 am
7
0
Spend it Bill

Spend it Bill Lockett has another great idea on how to spend someone else's tax money. He will be gone in two years. Can't wait.

UR-Right
8
Points
UR-Right 08/02/14 - 08:31 am
6
0
ELEVATE the taxes, so Augusta

ELEVATE the taxes, so Augusta can lower the Calhoun!

jimmymac
45719
Points
jimmymac 08/02/14 - 08:46 am
0
0
HIGHWAY
Unpublished

The best thing in Augusta is the Calhoun Highway. You can get through the ghetto without being car jacked at every light going from downtown to Washington Rd. There's no way that area will ever be re-vitalized unless you move all the people out and make it a park. Good grief how did that moron get elected?

raul
5523
Points
raul 08/02/14 - 08:54 am
6
0
@jpbrig. Unfortunately low

@jpbrig. Unfortunately low information voters will replace him with another of the same ilk.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/02/14 - 08:57 am
6
0
TSPLOST

We are fortunate the list of TSPLOST road projects was set before this bonehead idea took wings. It was one of those outside consultants (maybe the guy from Boston) who first floated this lead balloon, as was mentioned in the story. Lockett is just parroting what somebody else proposed. Please ignore Lockett.

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