News 12 at Six O'Clock/ July 13, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga--You've spoken. They've listened. Now, Augusta Canal officials will move forward with plans to give you new access to the canal.
The plan received mixed reviews because it runs right through a neighborhood. Folks were concerned new access would give new access to problems.
The plan is now a go but they are making some modifications.
Albert Thompson lives off Riverlook Drive, he first told News 12, "There's going to be speeding, probably drugs, alcohol."
Mary Beth McGee also lives in the neighborhood, she was concerned about, "increased speed, increased traffic flow."
We first introduced you to neighbors Albert Thompson and Mary Beth McGee last month.
Thompson told News 12, "To tell you the truth, this is a bad idea."
Some were skeptical of their new neighbor of sorts.
Augusta Canal Authority Director Dayton Sherrouse said, "Principally those 3 issues were: traffic, one was safety or security, and the third was maintenance."
Augusta Canal officials want to open up Riverlook Drive for folks to access the canal, but for the past month, they received feedback from neighbors who live off that road and around the neighborhood.
Sherrouse said, "Those seem to be the hot topics so what we are going to try and do is go back now and do a little more design and see what we can do."
For safety concerns, Sherrouse said they will be adding some lighting, ones that could work on a timer. For the traffic concerns, Sherrouse said, "We are going to put a gate system in."
Right now, one of the ways you can access the canal is through Eisenhower Park, walk along a rail line and cross a narrow bridge. With any project, it was met with mixed reviews.
Sherrouse said, "Unfortunately, that's the nature of the beast."
While the gates are shut for now, the gateway plan will include an aluminum fence, gate and will also include a new parking area.
Sherrouse said, "We can still have it in by the end of the year."
The Augusta Canal Authority is still working on the backroom design and accomodating so construction has not been set.
Overall, they believe these modifications should address any concerns from neighbors.
Again, we could see this come to fruition by January.
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