News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 1, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---They protested, and in just a matter of days they got big results. As the trees go down along I-20 a wall will come up.
"Woo-hoo!" says an elated Anna Seigler.
She and neighbors banned together to bring parts of a $51 million highway expansion project to a screeching halt. They were hoping to address concerns about trees coming down right in their back yard.
"We didn't know anything about this plan, and it was gonna leave our neighborhood exposed," Anna said.
With lumber crews in route and surrounding areas already flattened, neighbors demanded an extension to a sound barrier wall and some sort of safety barrier between their homes and the interstate.
"I was really beginning to panic," Anna said.
Today, the Georgia Department of Transportation said yes to the neighbors' demands.
The houses are just a few steps from the trees and the trees just a few steps from the interstate. Now all the trees must go, and they'll be replaced by a 20 foot sound barrier wall.
David Goldman's family has lived along the stretch for over 50 years. He says he can now breathe a sigh of relief: "The sound barrier wall will be so effective in giving us quality of life."
Department of Transportation board member Bill Kuhlke told News 12, "I think it's good news. It's gonna be a little bit uncomfortable for them as we go through construction and take down the trees and then having to put the sound barrier up."
Despite that, Anna says she has learned a valuable lesson. "You can fight city hall, and they do listen, and I'm just very excited and very appreciative for all they are trying to do for our neighborhood."