Did you ever drop by a friend's house when the place was such a mess that they wouldn't let you past the front door?
What if you dropped in again when they knew you were coming, and the home was still a wreck?
Well, you'd think your friend was a pretty rotten housekeeper, wouldn't you?
With that in mind, what must our once-a-year visitors think of us on Masters Week, when they're back for the third visit since construction started on Furys Ferry Road, the virtual front door from Augusta into Columbia County?
We should probably put up a sign along Furys Ferry for this time of year, something like the ones stores use when they stay open during renovation - you know, "Pardon Our Progress."
But the fact is, asking for forgiveness for the ongoing mess of Furys Ferry Road construction is getting old. Repeat visitors, and even new ones, could probably be forgiven themselves for assuming our place is a wreck all the time.
While the portion of Furys Ferry from Baston Road to River Watch Parkway is now complete, the remaining stretch between Baston and Evans-to-Locks Road is still a mess. It's as if we've swept our front porch but neglected the foyer.
How bad is it? Well, it's bad enough that state Rep. Ben Harbin, whose district includes Furys Ferry, is pushing a bill through the Georgia Legislature to prohibit tardy contractors from getting additional state road-construction jobs until they've made progress.
Harbin, the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has had an earful of complaints about the slow pace on Furys Ferry. He and his constituents were further aggravated when Reeves Construction Co., which is more than two years behind on Furys Ferry, was awarded additional jobs to construct a new Interstate 20 interchange at Walton Way Extension, and to build a new Crawford Creek bridge on Columbia Road.
Harbin's bill is probably a better gesture than it is law, but law is often an expression of citizen frustration - and certainly, the long delays on Furys Ferry have left plenty of the county's motorists frustrated.
So, to our visitors, please pardon our progress. We hope very much to have our place cleaned up by this time next year.
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