Gordon Highway beautification is mission for businesses

Gordon Highway and its aging array of eyesores could be transformed into a scenic thoroughfare under a long-range beautification project planned by area businesses.

“The initial goal is a thorough cleanup of garbage and old signs,” said Henry Frischknecht, a member of a committee assembled by Pride & Progress and Acura of Augusta. “We want this to lead to a compete beautification project with tree plantings and landscaping.”

The project will officially launch at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, when volunteer groups will assemble at Southgate Shopping Center to begin the delittering operation.

Mr. Frischknecht said hundreds of volunteers will be needed to help clean various segments of the highway. The committee has identified 409 businesses located along Gordon Highway who are being approached and asked for assistance in the campaign.

Augusta commissioners are providing bags for the litter, and groups that have planned to participate range from church organizations to scouting groups and garden clubs. Prisoners may be deployed to help with the labor, too, he said.

“This community wide project is an effort to bring consumers back to the Gordon Highway and maintain a beautiful place to work and live,” said Acura of Augusta manager Rick Brady, in a letter sent to all Gordon Highway businesses.

The Augusta-Richmond County code enforcement office has already been at work along Gordon Highway removing hundreds of signs illegally placed along rights of way. Letters are also being sent asking owners of permanent billboards and signs asking that they repair or remove the ones that are no longer in service.

“Most of the businesses that have received individual letters have been very cooperative and/or have already repaired or removed signs, or are working on them,” said an emailed update from the code enforcement office. About 25 such letters were sent to Gordon Highway businesses.

The upcoming litter cleanup is a precursor to a more longterm effort at beautification that will affect the highway from the Savannah River all the way to the Columbia County line, Mr. Frischknecht said.

“It’s going to be a big project and it’s going to take some time,” he said. The project will include tree plantings, landscaping and other activities on both public and private properties.

Anyone interested in participating in the program should contact Mr. Brady at 706-737-5200 or email to rbrady@acuraofaugusta.com.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119 or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

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If you want to help:

Litter cleanup: 6:30 a.m. Saturday June 27

Meeting location: Southgate Shopping Center

More info: Rick Brady, 706-737-5200, rbrady@acuraofaugusta.com.

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