Canal access plan must also address residents' concerns

A plan to provide new access to the Augusta Canal at Riverlook Drive can likely move forward, but only if attention is given to concerns raised by residents.

“The two main issues that arose were increased traffic and safety,” said Dayton Sherrouse, the Canal Authority’s executive director. “If we do move forward, obviously, we’ll have to sit down with the sheriff’s office and brainstorm how best to answer those conerns.”

The proposed Riverlook Gateway would include a landscaped entrance with 43 parking spaces at the end of the cul-de-sac on Riverlook Drive that adjoins a bridge over the canal. It would replace an existing – but problematic – access at Eisenhower Park that requires visitors to walk along a railroad right of way.

The canal authority held a June 21 meeting to gather comments, which were mostly positive.

“We spoke with a lot of residents, but only two of the 12 people who filled out comment cards were adamantly against it,” Sherrouse said.

Possible steps to mitigate concerns could include speed bumps, better lighting or more patrols from deputies hired by the canal authority, which will discuss the project at its July meeting.

Complete plans and images are available at www.augustacanal.com.

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