Developers of the new Evans Lowe's store are awaiting the green light from state officials to put a red light at a redesigned intersection of Old Evans and Washington roads.
Kendal Jones, a vice president for Hull Storey Development, said the redesigned intersection will include a traffic signal that will make it more convenient and safer for nearby residents, commuters and customers to the Lowe's store, which should open in January.
"The great thing is it's going to be helpful to our development, but it will be helpful to all people who travel Old Evans Road," Jones said.
Developers are awaiting the blessing from state Department of Transportation officials on the plan that includes rerouting the entrance to Old Evans Road through the parking lot of The Pizza Joint and relocating the restaurant's parking area to where the road now lies.
Jones said construction should begin in the fall with completion set to coincide with the opening of the home improvement store.
Jones said to put a traffic signal at the interchange, state transportation officials mandated the intersection be moved farther southeast from the Washington and Belair Road intersection.
She said the new location is far enough away from that intersection and the intersection of Washington Road and Town Centre Drive, which will get a traffic signal once the extension of River Watch Parkway is completed.
The design of the traffic signal's timing should make the intersection efficient for travel, she said.
Scott Herring, the county's construction and maintenance director, said the county will maintain the new Old Evans Road intersection once it is completed.
"It (the signal and redesign) will make the intersection function a whole lot cleaner," he said.
Scott Stevens, the Augusta-area engineer for the DOT, said transportation officials are awaiting the finalized design of the project from developers.
Old Evans Road will eventually be integrated into the River Watch Parkway extension project, which could be open for contractor bids in mid- to late 2007, he said.
In a prepared statement, Pizza Joint owner Michael Schepis said the Old Evans Road project will force his restaurant to close temporarily once construction begins because of the relocation of the parking lot. Once completed, the restaurant's lot will link to the Lowe's lot, offering greatly expanded parking.
He said a construction date has not yet been set, but that during the four- to six-week hiatus, The Pizza Joint will add an outdoor seating area and menu items in anticipation of reopening.
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