The New Year's resolution for Laney-Walker Boulevard: continue shaping up and become beautiful.
To make good on the promise, officials have closed a major downtown Augusta intersection at Laney-Walker and Ninth Street until Jan. 16.
"(The construction project) is designed for the beautification of the area, including drainage, new streetlights, new trees and sidewalks," said Brian Franklin of Augusta's Department of Public Works and Engineering.
Officials began working on the $2.5 million Laney-Walker beautification project in October, but the goal is to have the project finished by late this year. To do so, officials are wasting no time and have started installing a new storm drain.
Storm drains already have been added on Laney-Walker Boulevard from Augusta Avenue to Ninth Street. New drains are still needed from Ninth to Twiggs streets. Once that work is completed, streetlights, trees and sidewalks will be added from Augusta Avenue to Twiggs Street. Some intersections also will get state-of-the-art traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.
Mr. Franklin said the area has drainage problems that need to be fixed, but the project is also designed to restore the look of the boulevard.
"It is a big project," he said.
Mr. Franklin said that, despite the project's size, travel shouldn't be impeded too badly.
"There will probably be only four road closings along the whole project," he said.
Today's closing is the second of the four. Motorists are asked to use Twiggs Street, Seventh Street, Walton Way or 11th Street as detours. The dates of the two remaining closings have not been determined.
Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904 or firstname.lastname@example.org.