AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It seems like those orange barrels are everywhere and pretty soon you will see more of them in the Augusta area. A project to widen and renovate 15th Street, near T.W. Josey Comprehensive High School begins this fall and school leaders want to make sure people are prepared.
It’s a project more than 10 years in the making; widening the 15th Street corridor. While Josey will be impacted for the moment, the final product will help people move around the area better.
Cruising into the medical district from South Augusta will soon offer a new landscape.
“The 15th Street portion will become the gateway into Augusta from the south side,” said Don Grantham, a Georgia Department of Transportation Board Member for District 12.
Georgia DOT’s 15th Street Gateway Reconstruction Project calls for a four lane road with a median.
“We’re looking at having sidewalks and bike paths,” Grantham added.
The $10.5 million deal consists of both TIA and SPLOST funds. T.W. Josey will be impacted since it sits on the main road. And with the nearby apartments too, navigating on foot will be safer.
“With bike paths and with pedestrian crossing, particularly with having the flashing lights that tells a pedestrian when to cross and when not to cross,” he explained.
Richmond County Board of Education Vice President Venus Cain sat down with NewsChannel 6 to make sure the community knows the work is going down during this school year.
“It’s also going to give the front of the school a newer look and an updated look,” Cain said. “I think everyone, when it’s all over with, will be pleased at how it’s done. My biggest concern was I didn’t want people thinking we were tearing down the school.”
And the iconic eagle that once watched over the school’s property is no longer, for now. It sat in the project right of way along with other things. GDOT’s spokesman said the school was reimbursed for moving all items that once sat there. Cain wants to reassure everyone that the beloved mascot will return.
“The alumni met and everybody is getting together to decide and look at how things are going to be placed,” she said.
Grantham added that work is set to begin soon, as early as September.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps