News 12 at six o'clock, December 17, 2007
Augusta, GA---"You're almost to work...I mean you could practically throw a rock and hit Enterprise Mill, and yet so close but so far." Such is the story for Debbie Stankus. She battles the train each morning trying to get to work at Enterprise Mill. But the fight could be coming to an end.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is building a new road to by-pass the train.
"It's a temporary aggrevation for a long term permanent solution," says Stankus. "I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread," says Cliff Eckles. Eckles, like Debbie, welcomes the construction. The plan is to extend St.Sebastian way across the Augusta canal down to Reynolds Street.
It also calls for an extension to Greene Street to Riverwatch Parkway. The stretch next to Enterprise Mill would become five lanes and lead to a new road and bridge connecting to Riverwatch. Workers hope to see traffic move in and out of the medical corridor a lot smoother. It means more traffic along that stretch.
"That's alright. We're in the banking business, and we like to see traffic it's good for business we like that," says Eckles.
It is a 45 million dollar project. D.O.T officials say it's all being done in the name of progress. "The traffic needs it. It's needed downtown to move traffic better to alleviate some congestion downtown and we have the money to do it so it's the best time to do it," says Mike Keene with the D.O.T.
Even still, people like Rebecca Rogers say construction in Augusta is becoming harder to avoid. "I get it coming and going because my house is over there near the I-20...Bobby Jones construction site..so that's on the way out and then I'll get it on the way in. But that's okay...that's progress."
Now here's the time line... January bidding begins, in February the project should be awarded, and by March construction could begin.
The project is expected to wrap up in 2 years.