AUGUSTA (WJBF) -Augusta’s 5th Street Pedestrian Bridge is nearing completion.

“This has been a long project. I know a lot of it has been caused because of covid and the supply shortages, but just to see this project finally lit up, I think it’s going to be hopefully a catalyst for downtown,” says District 8 Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

Augusta Engineering Department unveiled lights on a brand new pedestrian walking bridge Wednesday.

It’s a project commissioners hope will bring people from Columbia County and North Augusta over to Richmond County.

District 3 Commissioner Catherine Smith-McKnight agrees, “I just think this is something where people are really going to be like wow, this is nice to come to. It’s just something that is different.”

Commissioners say they hope the increased lighting on the fifth street bridge and other projects will deter crime.

5th Street Bridge Construction Project Timeline:

“All these projects have lighting aspects. The things we’re working on Riverwalk, it’s going to have increased lighting and hopefully better security systems as well including cameras. Broad Street is going to have much better lighting.”

Catherine Smith-McKnight says she plans to go before the commission about increasing security downtown.

“Where these instances have happened, maybe we need to monitor these areas and have people down there more patrolling. We do need to do that. That way it makes people feel safe. But don’t be afraid to go downtown.”

“We’re working with the sheriff’s department now to figure out better ways to police the areas during some of these high crime times of the week.”

Commissioners say they hope this project is a step to revitalize downtown Augusta, and make it safer.

“There’s a lot of issues that we’ve got to work through, but projects like these really create that vibrant environment that we’re looking for.”