Originally created 01/23/04

Signals, lanes to be added to Warren Road



Betty Heath has some advice for motorists turning left onto Washington Road from Warren Road - don't do it.

"You can't get out there," the Evans resident said before walking on a track recently at Warren Road Community Center. "You might as well give it up. It would be horrendous."

Ms. Heath said she drives from Evans on Washington Road to the Warren track but takes Crane Ferry to Pleasant Home Road to return home.

City officials admit traffic headaches have been common on Warren Road, a heavily traveled thoroughfare that serves as a link between Washington and Skinner Mill roads. After several years of complaints from commuters, work to improve Warren Road with turn-lanes and traffic lights has begun.

"I'm very happy to see it done," said Augusta Commissioner Tommy Boyles, who said he has pushed to get the work with Commissioner Bill Kuhlke for the past two years. "The residents have needed that for so long."

The $1.8 million city project, which is estimated to take about a year to complete, is under contract with Mabus Brothers Construction Co. Inc. Peggy Seigler, the assistant to the city administrator, said clearing work already has begun and road work could begin soon.

She said traffic lights eventually will be installed at the intersections of Washington and Warren roads and Warren and Warren Bridge roads.

Mr. Boyles referred to the Warren Bridge Road intersection as "a nightmare," noting that Warren Bridge connects with Skinner Mill Road - another route plagued by traffic congestion from the Augusta Exchange shopping center.

He said a traffic light at Warren Road and widening there to include turn lanes not only should alleviate congestion on Warren Road but also near Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway.

"It will improve the overflow of traffic on Skinner Mill," he said.

Ms. Seigler said the work also will involve drainage improvements and will add sidewalks for schoolchildren at Warren Road Elementary School, which currently is closed for renovation. She said all the road work, which should cause only minor traffic delays, should be completed at the same time as the school renovation - by the start of the next school year.

At first, the widening of Warren had threatened the track at Warren Road Community Center. There was talk about having to move it back because it was too close to the road. But Mr. Boyles said it no longer looks as though the widening will affect the track.

That was more good news for Ms. Heath.

"As long as they don't mess up our (walking) lane here, we'll be all right," she said with a smile.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.