COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A lot has changed around Columbus in the last 5 to 10 years and more improvements are on the horizon. Highway Coordinator, Felton Grant says 2010 is going to be a busy year.
"The DOT funded projects have moved a little bit slower because of funding issues, design changes, but we've had a busy year because of special sales tax that just expired and the one we're under now," says Grant.
Money collected from the Special Local Option Sales Tax or SPLOST will fund the upcoming projects: $14 million to widen the highly congested Whittlesey Road into 4 lanes. Grant says it will be another 3 years before the project is finished.
The $ 1.2 million Rails to Trails project that includes a bike trail from 14th street to Cooper Creek Park to Psalmond Road by fall 2010.
Then, there's the new Automated Transportation Management Center. You'll see message boards along the highways with traffic warnings about delays, accidents and construction, similar to the ones you see in Atlanta.
"With the increase in the flow of traffic, it will be helpful with BRAC (Base Realignment and Closures) and the things we're looking at with large companies and their employees will help the city more," added Bryant.
The new traffic system will be implemented in phases. The first one should start towards the end of 2010 at a cost of $1.3 million.
The Brown Avenue Bridge project has been accelerated according to Bryant which is a Department of Transportation Task. The city will purchase the right of ways.