Originally created 06/14/02

Road upgrades put homes in jeopardy



Ann Clyde says she isn't against progress. She's just concerned about losing her house and front yard.

"I'm not complaining," said Mrs. Clyde, who owns two homes on Wrightsboro Road where a four-lane widening project is scheduled. "I'm just a little bit worried."

A current preliminary plan shows one of her homes being taken as part of the project near the corner of Luke Road. The front yard of her second home could be reduced.

Mrs. Clyde said she was planning to remodel her second home, but now she's waiting to see exactly where the widening of Wrightsboro Road from Jimmie Dyess Parkway to Bobby Jones Expressway will go.

"I don't know which way to remodel," she said.

The project is just one of several recently approved for either right-of-way acquisition or construction in the Augusta area for fiscal years 2003-05. But nothing is concrete on the Wrightsboro Road project, said Teresa Smith, the director of Augusta's Public Works department.

Right-of-way acquisition for Wrightsboro Road has been approved for fiscal year 2003 at a cost of $6.75 million, with construction set for fiscal year 2007. The 2003 fiscal year starts next month and runs until July 2003.

But Mrs. Smith said the acquisition process on Wrightsboro probably won't begin until next spring.

"The final layout has not been approved by the DOT," she said.

The Wrightsboro Road widening is needed, she said, because of an increase of traffic in the area.

"It's a connector between Jimmie Dyess Parkway and Bobby Jones," she said.

Mrs. Clyde agrees the widening would be helpful.

"In the evenings, I've sat there 10 minutes just to get out," she said.

Still, for some, adapting to change could be difficult.

"It's going to be good for progress. But a lot of people out here are older and have been here for a long time," said Mrs. Clyde, a 38-year resident of Wrightsboro Road.

Another major road slated for widening to four lanes is Davis Road from Skinner Mill Road to Washington Road. That project, which includes a half-diamond interchange at Interstate 20, is set for right-of-way acquisition for fiscal year 2003 at a $2.8 million cost.

Construction is expected to begin in fiscal year 2004. For more information or to obtain a full list of fiscal years 2003-05 road projects, call Augusta's Planning Commission office at (706) 821-1796.

ROAD PROJECTS

The following are among several Augusta-area projects slated for fiscal years 2003-05:

DEANS BRIDGE ROAD: Add turn bays from Fort Gordon's Gate 5 to the Regency Mall. Construction is set for fiscal year 2003.

BOBBY JONES EXPRESSWAY: Construct a limited access highway from Laney-Walker Boulevard to the Savannah River. Construction is set for fiscal year 2003.

15TH STREET: Widen to four and six lanes, with turn lanes as needed, from Milledgeville Road to Government Street. Right-of-way acquisition is set for fiscal year 2003 with construction in fiscal year 2008.

ST. SEBASTIAN WAY/GREENE STREET EXTENSION: Modifications and additions to streets, railroad and related improvements in the vicinity of the grade crossing of the CSX railroad and 15th Street. Construction is set for fiscal year 2005.

DEANS BRIDGE ROAD AT BUTLER CREEK: Reconstruct Butler Creek bridge. Construction is set for fiscal year 2003.

WASHINGTON ROAD: Widen to four lanes, with turn lanes as needed, near Halali Farm Road. Right-of-way acquisition is set for fiscal year 2004 with construction set for fiscal year 2006.

FLOWING WELLS ROAD: Widen to four lanes, with turn lanes as needed, from Washington Road to Interstate 20. Right-of-way acquisition is set for fiscal year 2003 with construction set for 2005.

WILLIAM FEW PARKWAY: Extend from Washington Road to Hardy-McManus Road. Right-of-way acquisition is set for fiscal year 2003.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904.



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