Originally created 11/28/98

Wonder about 'back room' road deal 112898 - The Augusta Chronicle

Your article on the expansion plans of Fury's Ferry Road only covered half the story. While the owner of the historic property is delighted, the residents of Forest Creek and Oak Brook are adamantly opposed to existing Department of Transportation plans.

When the road is expanded in front of these subdivisions, houses at the front of the subdivisions will lose most of their property and a wooded buffer zone while the land across from these subdivisions (adjacent to West Lake) will lose almost nothing. And adding insult to injury, one of Forest Creek's entrances will be blocked for left hand turns into and out of the subdivision.

If there were a sane and reasonable explanation for DOT's plans, residents could more readily accept its proposal. The publicly-stated reason DOT is giving: the historic house mentioned in your article must be avoided and DOT can not put "reverse curvature" in the road to bring the right of way back to center or toward West Lake.

Given the curvature already in Fury's Ferry Road (and there's no plan to remove these curves) one is very hard-pressed to understand why the road can't be curved back to the center of the right of way. Looking at the property maps it is interesting to note that the unaffected land (adjacent to West Lake) has Carl Sanders' name all over it. While there is no proof of back room deals, the weak reasons given by DOT and the DOT maps strongly hint of a back room deal struck by the former governor.

The Sanders property (and most of the property east of Fury's Ferry road) is largely undeveloped and the impact would be minimal for road expansion. The west side of Fury's Ferry Road is developed with 12 to 3/4 acre lots and houses relatively close to the road. DOT's ability to find "historic" property appears to be geared to people's needs not living along Fury's Ferry road.

...While justice may not be served in the end, the residents of Forest Creek aren't going to lose this battle without a fight.

Julie & Kevin Huffman, Martinez


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