Stevens Creek Elementary School pupils and County Commission Chairman Jim Whitehead (right) hold a
ribbon for Commissioner Frank Spears to cut to open the first phase of the Evans-to-Locks Road bike path.
Photo by Barry Paschal
The Augusta Regional Transportation Study has a simple plan for pedal pushers: a network of bicycle paths throughout Columbia, Richmond and Aiken counties.
A list of pedestrian and bike path projects were recently unveiled to the public and are nearing final approval.
"I'm convinced we are headed in the right direction," said Andy Jordan, owner of Andy Jordan's Bicycle Warehouse and a member of the steering committee for the Augusta Regional Transportation Study's regional bicycle and pedestrian plan.
The list, which was made available for public input at meetings in Aiken, Columbia and Richmond counties, includes the location and description of 118 projects to be constructed between 2003 and 2023 at a cost of $158 million. Twenty-nine projects will be implemented first, sometime between 2003 and 2008.
"The most exciting" project listed, Jordan said, is the multi-use path that will travel from Evans to Locks Road to 13th Street and connect Augusta's riverwalk to the North Augusta Greeneway with a bridge. That path will be 6.77 miles long and is now out to bid, according to the list.
Jordan is looking forward to the day when dozens of bike paths connect the communities in the Augusta area.
"We're interconnecting people," said Jordan. "We live in a society where people sit at computers in an office all day, and people need to get back together."
Each of the paths must have a transportation use, connecting people from their homes to their work, public transit systems or other public venues. Joddie Gray, of Arcadis, an Atlanta consultant group helping plan the process, said many of the projects listed in the plan focus on downtown or town center areas.
"Columbia County has the most aggressive plan," she said, "but they think they can get a lot of their's done alongside several upcoming road projects."
Stevens Creek Elementary School pupils await a signal from Columbia County Commissioner Frank Spears to ceremonially break ground on the second phase of the Evans-to-Locks Road bike path.
Photo by Barry Paschal
Although Columbia County has more upcoming road projects than Richmond County, Gray said Richmond County has at least one advantage in creating bike and pedestrian paths that coexist with roads.
"Richmond has a lot of existing pavement," she said. "So, all you have to do is re-stripe (a road to create a paved path)."
The recent meetings were the last chance for the public to give input on the project list, which will now become finalized within the next few weeks.
The following is a list of planned bicycle and pedestrian projects for the Augusta area from 2003 to 2008.
Urban bike lane along Ronald Reagan Drive from Washington Road to North Belair Road, .40 miles, costing $557,512
Urban bike lane along Old Petersburg Road from Washington Road to River Watch Parkway, 2.46 miles, costing $3,397,136
Urban bike lane along Old Evans Road from Belair Road to Old Petersburg Road, 1.23 miles, costing $1,699,484
Re-striping along North Belair Road from Washington Road to Fury's Ferry Road, 2.48 miles, costing $42,111
Rural bike lane along Hardy McManus Road from Washington Road to Fury's Ferry Road (including the future William Few Parkway), 3.84 miles, costing $4,668,790
Rural bike lane from Washington Road at State Route 104 from Cumberland Drive to Silver Lake Drive, 2.45 miles, costing $2,979,249
Rural bike lane along Washington Road at State Route 104 from Silver Lake Drive to Ronald Reagan, 1.97 miles, costing $2,395,652
Rural bike lane along Hereford Farm Road from Columbia to Belair Road, 3.71 miles, costing $4,510,789
Multi-use path along Evans to Locks Road from existing facility to Blue Ridge Drive, 1.35 miles, $169,000
Multi-use path along Evans to Locks Road from Blue Ridge Drive to Belair Road, 1.45 miles, costing $848,411
Multi-use path along the Augusta Canal from Evans to Locks Road to 13th Street, 6.77 miles, out to bid
Re-striping along Tobacco Road from Karleen to Doug Barnard Parkway, 8.17 miles, costing $138,888
Multi-use path along Levee Road from Sand Bar Ferry Road to Lovers Lane, 3.43 miles, costing $2,007,031
Road signs added at Milledge Road from bridge at Augusta Canal to Central Avenue, 2.35 miles, costing $4,691
Re-striping at Jackson Road from Pleasant Home Road to Wrightsboro Road, 1.11 miles, costing $18,905
Road signs added to Central Avenue from 15th Street to Highland Avenue, 2.24 miles, costing $4,479
Re-striping at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Twiggs Street from Olive Road to James Brown Boulevard to Ellis Street, .34 miles, costing $5,838
Road signs added to Lace Road, Ulm Road and Karleen Road from Tobacco Road to Willis Foreman Road, 2.65 miles, costing $5,302
Urban bike lane along Wrightsboro Road from Jimmie Dyess Parkway to North Leg Road, 3.89 miles, costing $5,371,059
Multi-use path along Levee Road from Lovers Lane to Lock and Dam Road, 2.42 miles, costing $1,417,015
Multi-use path along Lock and Dam Road to Dough Barnard Parkway, 2.38 miles, costing $1,394,049
Re-striping at Broad Street and Sand Bar Ferry Road from 12th Street to Levee Road, 4.48 miles, costing $76,214
Road signs added at Broad Street from 14th Street to 5th Street, 1.19 miles, costing $2,381
Road signs added to Fenwick Street from 13th Street to James Brown Boulevard, .48 miles, out to bid
Urban bike lane along Alexander Drive from Georgia Power easement near River Watch Parkway, .75 miles, being included in the county's Transportation Improvement Plan
Re-striping along Martintown Road from U.S. Highway 1 to Gregory Lake Road, 5.28 miles, costing $89,841
Urban bike lane along Buena Vista Avenue from Martintown Road to Riverview Park Drive, 2.18 miles, costing $3,017,263
Share the road signs added along Price Avenue from Two Notch Road to Whiskey Road, .26 miles, costing $514
Share the road signs added along Park Avenue from Union to an under construction multi-use trail, 5.7 miles, costing $11,400
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.