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Roadway changes proposed

Posted: Sunday, September 05, 2010

Columbia County motorists could soon see changes to a busy intersection that serves as a gateway into the Evans Town Center.

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County officials have asked the Georgia Department of Transportation to allow for a right turn lane from Evans Town Center Boulevard onto Washington Road.

After Washington Road was widened in 1993, vehicles were no longer allowed to exit onto Washington Road from what was then North Belair Road, county Administrator Steve Szablewski wrote in an e-mail.

"The DOT made this change due to traffic and accident issues at this intersection," he said.

Drivers can only make a right turn off Washington Road onto Evans Town Center Boulevard. A sign at the four-way stop coinciding with Evans to Locks Road warns motorists that an outlet is unavailable ahead.

As a result, business owners in the area have complained about the lack of traffic generated by the intersection's configuration.

"Because the traffic has been redirected, they have definitely seen a loss of business because they don't have the traffic," Columbia County Chamber President Tammy Shepherd said during a recent meeting to discuss growth in the county.

In an effort to appease business owners and add convenience for drivers, the county would like to see both lanes of Evans Town Center Boulevard flowing with traffic.

"The businesses that used to be there wanted it the way it is, and now it's going back the other direction," Development Services Director Richard Harmon said. "Every bit of that's changed."

The county is awaiting a response on the project from the state DOT.

"I think it's a wonderful thing," said Mark Herbert, who owned Stonecrest Southern Steakhouse, which closed in July.

"It's good for all the businesses through there."



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