AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Improvements in downtown Augusta, 13th and Telfair are two of the streets affected. The projects have been underway since mid-April.
Road work along 13th Street began on Saturday. It’s the latest of the downtown projects aimed at improving transportation.
Downtown Augusta will see a total of six road renovations- on 5th, 6th, 13th, Broad, Greene, and Telfair Streets.
“We’re doing a lot of work downtown,” said John Ussery, Assistant Director of Augusta Traffic Engineering.”We’re going to reconstruct a lot of the streets, improve the drainage, improve the street lighting, a lot of landscape improvements and new trees and, you know, all that. And, so, it should look really nice when we’re done.”
The Transportation Investment Act- or ‘TIA’- makes these renovations possible. The act allows a .1 cent sales tax to be imposed to fund regional transportation improvements. Voters approved the special tax in 2010.
Ussery says the closure at 13th Street will last four to five months.
“It’s going to take them a long time to do the work that they need to do,” said Ussery. “That particular bridge and that area hasn’t been touched in decades and so, you know, construction’s going to take a while.”
While Ussery says the city is doing its best to inform the public, he says you can also sign up on augustadtp.com for information and updates.
“If anybody’s interested in what’s going on downtown and what’s going to be closed and what’s the traffic control is and where they’re working and a little bit about what they’re doing,” said Ussery. “I would encourage you to go to that website.”
And if you want to see a preview of what’s in store…
“You can go down to 9th Street near Telfair, which is where the library is- and that street is already done,” said Ussery. “So take a look at that street and that’s sort of the plan for the rest of the streets.”
Ussery tells us all downtown renovations will begin by the end of the year, and take two and a half to three years to complete.
“We’re really excited that they’re all starting. I know it’s going to be a little difficult while they’re under construction,” said Ussery. “But after they’re done, I think they’ll really improve the look of downtown and make it much more walkable and much more friendly to people that are riding bicycles or on scooters or some other form of transportation other than a car.”
Ussery tells us this 13th street closure will be in place for the remainder of the year. A detour is in place and will take traffic to 12th Street. He says drivers should expect heavy traffic in the area.