Widening of Forrest Road poses problems for businesses

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -James Daniels has been in the grocery business for the past 42 years, and now all of the changes along Forrest Road may affect his business.

"It's going to hurt me; I might have to close down before it's all over with. This traffic is already kind of bad but they're going to take away my parking space so people aren't going to have anywhere to park so I am going to be hurting in a way," Daniels said.

Daniels owns Pops Grocery store. It's in one of the prime areas where construction is expected to take place.

At tonight's city council meeting it was a unanimous approval to move forward with funding the pre-construction requirements for these road improvement projects.It's an approval business owners like Daniels doesn't support.

"It's going to kill my business; people are not going to be able to turn to come in here. They are just going to keep going by," Daniels said.

Deputy city manager David Arrington says business owners like Daniels shouldn't worry; the city is offering help to alleviate the impact construction will have on their business.

"The right of way acquisition process enables us to gain a temporary access easement to the property for construction purposes, a permanent easement through the property so that the property owner is compensated for or acquire a portion of the property to which the property owner is compensated for," David Arrington said.

And Daniels says he'll be okay as long as the city sticks to its word.

"If they are going to widen it, they can go ahead and widen it, they just need to take care of the people they are hurting. That's all I can say take care of the people," Daniels said.

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