COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - Dozens of residents in Columbia County made their way to Riverside Elementary School where a public meeting was held to discuss the proposed plans for improvements to Hardy McManus Rd. Many residents that will be impacted by this project came out to see how much it will affect where they live.
Plans were shown throughout the room as residents made their way to look at what changes that may be coming to their community. Keith Aiken, who lives in the area, says it won’t affect his property but it worries his neighbors. “I’m relieved but talking to my neighbors still have some concerns it’s a family neighborhood so ultimately we want all the families to be comfortable in the neighborhood,” Aiken said.
And that’s exactly why people came out to learn more about the project, so they will feel comfortable with what’s happening to ease traffic in their community. One of the proposed changes is adding a roundabout to regulate traffic. Marvin Murray, who also lives in the area says he is not on board with the roundabouts.
“Roundabouts are relatively foreign to this side of the country and people don’t know how to drive in them, and their natural tendency is going to be to stop and that will defeat the purpose. I think a roundabout will make traffic worse not better,” Murray explained.
The project proposes to add the roundabouts at Dolphin Way, Aylesbury Drive, and a dual roundabout at the Halali Farm Road & Jamestown Avenue intersections.
Steve Exley, Columbia County Engineering Manager, says studies have shown roundabouts to be a good option. “The mood or the feeling of the public is generally negative but then you survey the people after the project and it’s a huge swing in the other direction.”
Other residents like Brenda Kuntz, are looking forward to changes concerning the railroad improvements. "The biggest thing I’m excited about is the railroad crossing, it’s a little rough right now so once that gets smoothed out , that part of the project gets done it’ll be nice to have a smooth railroad crossing."
Columbia County also proposes to convert Hardy McManus Road from the two-lane roadway to a new multi-modal corridor with a 3-lane typical section as well as bicycle & pedestrian facilities.
The public can submit their comments until April 11th. You can visit this link to learn more about the project and how to submit your comments.