In recent weeks, the Georgia Department of Transportation began paving the way toward an eventual expansion of River Watch Parkway by razing several buildings along Old Evans and Old Petersburg roads.
Though construction of the road is still years away, Cissy McNure, a DOT spokeswoman, said the removal of homes is part of the initial stages of the project, which will ultimately extend the four-lane River Watch Parkway down the current course of Old Petersburg Road to Old Evans Road with an eventual intersection at Washington Road and Town Center Drive.
Pine straw now covers the footprints of several homes on Jamaica Court, Old Evans Road and at the intersection of McCormick and Old Petersburg roads.
"There are 20 total structures for removal in this phase," McNure stated in an e-mail, adding that 19 will be demolished and one home was sold and moved to another site. "They are presently working on the final seven."
The state plans to purchase right-of-way from the owners of 283 parcels along that stretch, McNure said. As of Oct. 20, 66 of those parcels had been purchased. McNure said $20 million was authorized for right-of-way purchases between 1992 and 2005, with $11 million available through 2009.
In September, transportation officials said the two-mile widening project should take about two years to finish. McNure said $28.4 million in construction funds has been approved for 2010.
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