County and state transportation officials met Friday morning to discuss plans to beautify several planned medians for Furys Ferry Road.
There are plans to landscape the medians on Furys Ferry Road from the county line to Evans to Locks Road. If approved, the county plans to enhance the medians with a combination of grass and trees. Furys Ferry Road construction is expected to be complete in July.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Barry Smith, the division director for the county's Community and Leisure Services department, said the decision to use grass and limit the amount of concrete placed in medians was something transportation officials were receptive to.
"Columbia County Clean and Beautiful wants to improve the aesthetics of the roadways in Columbia County," said Smith, who said the Clean and Beautiful committee requested that the county look into the project.
The project's goal is to enhance the appearance of four large medians along Furys Ferry.
"They want to plant shrubs and do some landscaping. There will probably be a combination of shrubs, trees and certain tree species.''
But before the plan can go into action, Smith said, the project's cost needs to be examined.
"We need to look at the cost impact of the project itself (such as) plant materials, an irrigation system and maintenance, because once we do this the DOT is going to release it to Columbia County to maintain," he said.
In addition to the project's expense, Smith said, a landscape plan must be drawn and submitted to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners for approval. The DOT regional office in Tennille, Ga., will then forward it to Atlanta.
The medians will run from the county line, beginning at Brookfield subdivision on Furys Ferry, and will continue to Evans to Locks Road, Smith said.
He added that the construction on the entire Furys Ferry project is scheduled to be completed in July 2005.
The construction will widen Furys Ferry to emulate River Watch Parkway with four lanes, Smith said.
"This is a proposal we're looking into to see if it can be a budgeted capital project." Smith said.
Also at Thursday's meeting of the Columbia County Clean and Beautiful advisory committee, members said they have been proud to see an increase of litter pickup on remote county roads.
Now, though, committee members say they want to focus their attention on some of the county's major highways.
"County highways don't get much attention," said Ernie Blackburn, the District 1 member of the committee at the meeting.
Another improvement members said they were impressed with is the interest in road adoptions and neighborhood cleanups from civic organizations and the increase in recycling.
"We now have 16 recycling containers in schools and churches in Columbia County," said Lillian-Katharine Blanos, the executive director of Metro Augusta and Columbia County Clean and Beautiful Inc.
She said she allocated $400 for "a field of lilies" to be planted along the roadside at the newly planned Blanchard Woods Park, which is 400 yards off Blanchard Road in Evans.
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