AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- You’ve seen the cones and construction workers for months in downtown Augusta.
But as they’re thinking about the future of the city, it’s causing big problems for some residents as we speak.
“The biggest issue with a lot of the construction is they keep taking a lot of the street lights out. As you can hear all the little kids, it makes it pretty dangerous at night. We also have a lot of stray animals and cars getting broken into,” said 2-year-resident Morgan Smith.
“It’s also been inconvenient trying to figure out when the road is going to be open or not–especially with all the sideroads. So it’s been a lot harder to figure out how to get out of downtown, or back into it,” said Smith.
Some of Smith’s neighbors say it’s about time that downtown got a facelift.
“It’s encouraging for me, as someone who’s invested my life here. It’s finally really getting the T-L-C that it deserves. So I’m down for it, a little longer to get to the places I go is fine by me,” said James Sterett, who’s been living in Olde Town for the last year.
“Everything that’s going to happen in this project I think is going to be a positive for everybody,” said Sterett. “Patience is key, but you want to see this happening. You want to see improvements happening, and that really galvanizes your decision to invest in Olde Town.”
John Ussery–from the Traffic Engineering Division–says crews have done most of the demolition along Greene Street, but they are still working on curbs and sidewalks.
On top of that, crews have removed several trees in that area, and the plan is work from the outside in.
Ussery says that the project is on schedule, and this week the focus will be on the block between 1st and 2nd streets.
Ussery adds that this project is 1 of 5 projects that being worked on simultaneously in the city, and each have timelines of 30-36 months.
However, he says it’ll be worth the wait, as it’s the mission of everyone involved to make Augusta look newer and safer.
“Regardless of how you choose to get to downtown–whether you’re riding a bike, on foot, or you’re in a car–we want to make sure we accommodate all those modes of transportation so you can get around easily and just enjoy the area,” said Ussery.
“At the end of the day, we really hope to make downtown new and vibrant. It’s been here a long time, and we hope to bring it back up to have it look brand new, he said.
While all 5 of these projects are also on schedule, those in the downtown area can expect to see construction continue for the next 2-3 years.
If you would like to keep up with construction updates, what’s under construction, and where you can expect traffic, you can find more information here.