News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- In a meeting Tuesday afternoon, Augusta Commissioners decide to leave the Calhoun Expressway the same for now.
City leaders were considering spending up to $200,000 to find out what would happen if they closed parts or all of the state route.
Commissioner Bill Lockett said the city was headed in the right direction.
"I'm not an engineer. I come up with the idea," said Commissioner Bill Lockett.
Drivers who use the road think differently.
"I think it's a bad idea and a waste of taxpayers money," said driver Douglas Chilton.
"It's a bad idea and you will have lots of traffic accidents," said driver Irena Pardue.
Commissioner Lockett's plan called for closing parts or all of Calhoun Expressway. He said studies have shown the state route divides neighborhoods and stops growth.
Traffic engineers said more than 20,000 drivers us it every day. The Commissioner representing Harrisburg said nobody's been calling to complain.
"I have to listen to the will of the people of that district," said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.
"I was elected as a Representative for District 5. I'm also a representative for the entire Richmond County," said Commissioner Bill Lockett.
The Calhoun Expressway is a direct route into Downtown Augusta. City engineers told officials if they change anything it could affect the rest of Augusta.
"Masters traffic would be a problem. It's taking away one of the biggest road ways in Augusta. People would be forced to use Walton Way which has lots of traffic lights," said driver Mary Helen Purcell.
City leaders decided against making any changes pointing to the costs, effects on other roads and because changing a state route would need state approval.