Traffic is heavy on Washington Road in Evans and the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to divide the busy road with a concrete median.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Columbia County commissioners approved of a concept map Tuesday for a median on Washington Road beginning at Fieldstone Way and ending at Old Washington Road.
Although county commissioners told a crowd at their meeting the concept is still in the early phases and must now be sent to the Georgia Department of Transportation for their approval, some county business owners wasted no time in speaking out against the median Tuesday.
"We need to do something, but this wall, I'm dead against it," said Jimmy Cushman, of Cushman's Paint and Body, which is located on Washington Road in Evans. "The reason why? Look at Gordon Highway."
Bob Robertson, the owner of Evans Diner on Washington Road in Evans, also spoke to commissioners in opposition of a median on the main thoroughfare.
"I can't see how any business up and down Washington Road would be for it,'' he said.
Commission Chairman Ron Cross then looked out to a packed Evans Government Complex auditorium and asked if anyone present was in favor of the median.
"No!'' shouted back many of those in the audience.
Bob Robertson, the owner of Evans Diner on Washington Road, is opposed to the construction of a median.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The idea is being pursued by the Georgia DOT as a means of traffic control on a thoroughfare that they say is experiencing large growth in traffic.
As part of the Georgia DOT's plan, the median would also be located on Washington in between its intersections with Belair and Ronald Reagan Drive - a location where the county recently had a center turn lane installed.
As part of the concept plan approved by commissioners Tuesday, though, county officials are asking the DOT to exclude the stretch of Washington at the Kroger and Wal-Mart shopping centers to keep a center turn lane there instead of having a median.
Ronnie Hutto, the preconstruction engineer for Columbia County, said the concept plan includes some revisions such as requested cuts in the median for Steeplechase Way, Silver Lake Drive and possibly a realignment of Rocky Branch Lane for a T intersection.
Hutto stressed that the process is still in the early stages.
"This is a concept, not the final deal," he said.
Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of the concept, with Commissioner Diane Ford abstaining, citing her home in Windmill Plantation as the reason.
County officials say that by early next year they will meet with the DOT.
The plan calls for acquisition of right of way to begin as early as July 2006 and construction to start by 2009.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.