Moon Road project moving forward despite worries

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's a project two years in the making--Moon Road, both north and south of J.R. Allen Parkway, will be widened in the coming months.

Monday night, residents got a chance to ask more questions, before the project goes from the planning stage to the construction stage.

With over 150 homeowners directly affected by the potential construction, and hundreds more impacted by the traffic headaches that construction will bring, there were no shortage of opinions.

On one end of the spectrum, some residents wanted no part of the construction at all, saying the city should stay out of the area and keep Moon Road to two lanes instead of expanding to three.

"It will increase traffic, which is already a problem, but if you widen it even further, it won't decrease volume, it's going to increase volume," said Daniel Prescott, whose home is right off Moon Road.

Others had no problems with the cities plan, instead seeing a great opportunity, like members of St. Peter's United Methodist Church.

"There's nothing we see that's threatening or of real concern. Hopefully we will get more visibility from the traffic," said Herb Franks, representing the Board of Directors for St. Peter's.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, many were disappointed in the city's decision, wanting the expansion to go to four or even five lanes, looking forward to the city's future growth.

Winfield Flanagan's mother lives off of Moon Road, and has a hard time getting out of her subdivision as it is.

"Seven to ten years, we will be back doing this and the city is going to spend twice as much money. We need to fix it now," said Flanagan.

Even with these different opinions, the city is still moving forward with that three lane expansion south of J.R. Allen, and they want people to be ready for the potential headaches.

"Once construction begins, we ask people for patience. There could be some time delays, some difficulties of using that segment of road, and again, we are talking about a two-year process to have that project complete," said Rick Jones of Metropolitan Planning.

Both Moon Road widening projects will be funded through the LOST tax money.

City planners hope to start construction on the segment of Moon Road north of J.R. Allen, widening it to four lanes, before the end of 2009.

The south segment from Whittlesey Blvd. to Wilbur Dr. by this time next year.