Construction areas on Stevens Creek and Furys Ferry roads are getting a face-lift because of money contributed by a county commissioner.
The area on Stevens Creek Road near Reed Creek needed some beautification after lengthy road construction in front of the water treatment plant to raise the road, officials said.
"I thought we probably should have done a little bit better beautification at Stevens Creek at Reed Creek,' County Commissioner Steve Brown said. "That was not too attractive when we put the guardrails up."
Brown pulled $28,000 from his discretionary funds to plant 30 trident and red maples and about 350 shrubs in the area.
"It looks great. It really looks good," said Preston Duffy, the county forester and green space coordinator. "This was something that some of the constituents in that district showed an interest in doing and Commissioner Brown is the one that initiated that project."
Brown also agreed to pay for plantings in the islands along Furys Ferry Road if county employees got permission from the Georgia Department of Transportation to plant small trees in those islands still under construction.
Three islands are slated to be a part of the repeating pattern of crape myrtles, holly shrubs, Indian hawthorne, canna lilies and day lilies, Duffy said.
"It's going to look real good," Duffy said. "The reason we've done that is it's one of the main entry corridors coming into Columbia County and we're trying to get a good showing coming into Columbia County."
The first island, near River Watch Parkway, is complete and planting is slated to begin after the first of the year. Duffy said crews are waiting for Reeves Construction to complete the other two Furys Ferry Road islands - just past Publix and just past the entrance to West Lake - before planting can begin.
Plantings for all three islands, estimated to be finished by the middle of February at a cost of $76,000, also were paid for by Brown's discretionary funds.
Brown said he hopes the beautification projects are the first of many. He's already set his eyes on Martinez and revitalizing it into a pedestrian friendly commercial center.
"I'd like to see some more, especially around Martinez," Brown said. "Now if we could really focus on revitalization of Martinez and get some trees in Martinez and along that streetscape, that would be great. But that is going to take several years to work on that project."
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