TIA projects improving bicycle & pedestrian safety in Columbus

Welcome news via press release from GDOT's Thomaston office:

COLUMBUS, Ga. – As elected officials across the nation struggle to secure funding for critical transportation infrastructure maintenance and improvements, communities in three of Georgia’s regions are reaping the benefits of the Transportation Investment Act (TIA), which voters passed through a referendum in July 2012. Citizens of these regions, including the River Valley, Heart of Georgia Altamaha, and Central Savannah River Area regions, are funding 871 transportation projects through a one cent sales tax collected over 10 years.  Georgia DOT is overseeing management of the budget, schedule, execution and delivery of all TIA projects, in collaboration with local and state agencies.

“The three regions that approved the Transportation Investment Act are starting to see the results of their investments,” said State TIA Administrator Mike Dover. “By voting to tax themselves and working together to identify and prioritize projects, citizens and public officials in these regions are addressing a variety of local transportation issues, from road and bridge repair to expansion and enhancement of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. These transportation system improvements will benefit residents and visitors in these regions for many years to come.”

So far eight projects are underway in the River Valley region. Four of these projects are currently under construction, while the other four are in the pre-construction (design or bidding) phase. These projects include a variety of roadway and bridge improvements, as well as two projects to expand pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in South Columbus.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 6, 2015 for the South Lumpkin Multi-Use Path in Southwest Columbus. This $3.5 million project will make use of an abandoned rail corridor between South Lumpkin Park and Old Cusseta Road, transforming the space into a linear park. Once completed, this project will provide pedestrian and bicycle connectivity for a variety of destinations, including seven schools, parks, restaurants, and several shopping centers in the community.

Owen Ditchfield, a local resident and community leader shared some comments on the South Lumpkin Multi-Use Path during the groundbreaking ceremony.  “This is a proud day for South Columbus… and more good things are yet to come,” Mr. Ditchfield said.  He recalled many of the changes that have taken place in South Columbus over the last few decades, and shared his excitement for new developments in the area. He looks forward to having a multi-use path in the community, to provide an off-street facility where he and other cyclists can ride bikes.