Beginning of 'Renew Opelika Road' construction delayed - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Beginning of 'Renew Opelika Road' construction delayed

It is the main corridor between the cities of Auburn and Opelika.

An after making an extensive plan to renew Opelika Road, the City of Auburn says the start of construction for Phase I that was expected to start next month will be delayed a little longer.

"The bid came in a good bit higher than we had anticipated we had anticipated. At the present time we are evaluating the bid versus what we would estimate it and looking at the project and looking at what we need to cut," Assistant City Manager Kevin Cowper explains.

Phase I of the project will focus on Opelika Road between Gay Street and Ross Street with an upgrade of the infrastructure.

A median will be added as well as updates to lighting, traffic signals and crosswalks.

The city allotted $1.3 million for Phase I, but the bid came in closer to $2 million.

"Optimistically, the project can go forward. We just need to look at the project, sharpen our pencils and get the cost of the overall project down within the budget," Cowper explains.

Phase II includes updating the portion of Opelika Road around the University Avenue intersection.

New lanes will be added, as well as sidewalks in front of Auburn Mall.

Phase III will bring improvements to the Opelika and Dean Road intersection.

"A very good update of the infrastructure in the area with hopes of spurring some redevelopment of some vacant and underutilized properties," Cowper says.

Additional plans for the corridor have been momentarily put on hold because a portion of the general fund is being used for Auburn City Schools.

The team plans to present a contract to the city council in November and have Phase I construction begin in December.

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