Construction finally on the horizon for $50M Fury's Ferry Road expansion

Friday, Sept. 06, 2019
News 12 at 5 O’Clock

Expansion on Fury Ferry Road is expected to begin soon with a $50 million price tag. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – Fifty million dollars’ worth of changes on Fury’s Ferry Road -- it seems like a project we've been talking about forever, but construction is finally on the horizon.

Parts of the road will change from two to four lanes and while the hope is it'll ease congestion, people will lose a lot of land as well.

One business owner says they'll lose their property from the road all the way to a tree line

"We're losing basically 100 feet of frontage all the way across the property,” Edward Markwalter, the owner of Car Systems, Inc., said.

But Markwalter says when it comes to the Fury's Ferry, the good that will come outweighs the bad.

"Price of progress I guess,” Markwalter said. “Traffic has been really horrendous and a very dangerous road."

Columbia County officials say the two-lane road cannot support the nearly 20,000 cars that drive down it every single day.

And the number of accidents prove it. There have been 1,170 total in the past five years and one fatality.

"There was a car it hit the pine tree, totaled out,” Markwalter said. “A car flipped off there and ended up in a ditch, a car came from the other side over there, two people ejected and in a ditch here."

All of those accidents were ones he witnessed on his front lawn. Not to mention the one he was involved in where his car was totaled.

The change will start at Evans to Locks and extend to Hardy McManus where you'll find a brand new roundabout.
Along with the road widening, the project will add medians, bike lanes, a multi-use path, and turning lanes. While it's a project the county desperately needs, Bruce Shingleton knows there's a long road ahead.

"I know it's going to be a tremendous disruption, and I remember when they four-laned Washington Road a couple of years ago; it took two or three years and it was a tremendous inconvenience,” Shingleton said.

So when will you see shovels in the ground?

The county has 60 more parcels left to obtain and they hope to have all property bought by the end of the year so construction can officially begin early 2020.

Once this project is over, they begin on Hardy McManus, which is a whole different ballgame.

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