Commissioner: street lights needed on Jimmie Dyess Parkway

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – There have been hundreds of car crashes on Jimmie Dyess Parkway as it gets very dark there at night. One commissioner hopes adding street lights to the area will make it safer.

Dyron Johnson works near Jimmie Dyess Parkway. Some days, he does not get off until it is dark.

“It’s dangerous,” Johnson said. “It’s very dangerous. You can’t really see.”

Very few street lights line Jimmie Dyess Parkway. But, nearly 20,000 cars drive on it each day.

“Jimmie Dyess is a primary connector between Fort Gordon, residential neighborhoods and also I-20,” Catherine Smith McKnight, the District 3 Commissioner of Augusta-Richmond County, explained. “There are lots of people working at Fort Gordon who travel on that road.”

210 car crashes have happened along the parkway since the start of 2020, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. McKnight says this needs to stop.

“It’s a death trap waiting to happen,” she said. “It’s dark.”

McKnight is proposing a new project to light the parkway. A study by the Augusta Engineering Department found 150 street lights would be needed for the project. It would cost about $1.8 million.

“We do so much with Fort Gordon. We know that people come in and out of there. We want to make sure they’re safe and protected.”

The city would have to approve funding and work with the Georgia Department of Transportation on the project. If it is approved, construction likely would not begin until 2023. For people who drive on the parkway every day, it can not come soon enough.

“I think with a little bit of lighting, it’ll make it a little more visible for the drivers to see at night,” Johnson said.

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