Engineers and residents share vision to revitalize South Augusta - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Engineers and residents share vision to revitalize South Augusta area

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Crowded streets, vacant buildings and sidewalks overgrown with weeds, that's how it looks now along the 15th street corridor in South Augusta. 

But city engineers are pressing pencils to paper - sketching out a different vision for the area.

"The overall goal is to revitalize the neighborhood," said project manager Adam Williamson.

The vision of revitalization is shared with the people who live and work along 15th street from the medical district to Gordon Highway.

The Rabitcshs own land in the area and they met with engineers Thursday at an open house to find out how proposals to widen roads and develop residential and commercial space will affect them.

"It's a blighted area and anything that's developed would make it a better area, a better community," said Emory Rabitch.

The Rabitcshs own property off Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and they hope with the new developments coming to the area they will change their "for rent" sign to a "for sale" sign.

They expect property values to rise because engineers are planning to replace dilapidated housing in the area with new houses and reuse abandoned buildings for business.

The Department of Transportation plans to widen 15th street to 4 lanes and add turning lanes to MLK Boulevard.

But the list of possible changes doesn't end there; Williamson says they're also looking at, "more park space, really wanted to look at the 15th street corridor, make it as safe as possible for bicyclists and pedestrians."

"We've been looking forward to this for years because we've heard it's coming so finally it is going to come," said Rachel Rabitcsh.

Change is coming - to an area that could use a breath of fresh air.

Engineers expect work to begin on the roads in 2016 and residential and commercial work to begin during the next year.

Engineers will host another open house Friday at the Augusta Mini Theatre from 9 AM to 6 PM.  

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