AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Lights, Lights, and more lights are going up on River Watch Parkway.
We’re digging deeper to find out who made the decision to install 200 light fixtures on the 4-mile stretch of the highway. Each light is roughly space 100 feet from the next. So is 200 too many? Well WJBF News Channel 6 asked drivers to find out.
“Either they’re going to complain about it or they are going to like it,” said Amber Clark, who lives in Augusta.
If you’ve driven down the under construction River Watch Parkway lately it’s hard to miss the new light poles… that go as far as the eyes can see.
“It seems like there’s a lot of them,” Pittman Morris, who commutes from Columbia County, told WJBF News Channel 6.
The fixtures that start at the River Shoals entrance, just after the Costco entrance, and stretch into Downtown were part of the goal of this project–to keep the ambiance the same across Augusta on the road leading into the heart of the city.
“Theses types of lights were actually requested by the City of Augusta back when the T.I.A. projects were getting put together,” Georgia Department of Transportation District Communications Coordinator Kyle Collins said.
The new additions will improve visibility in that area, while beautifying and adding scenic value, that ties in with the improvement on the new Berckmans Road. Yet, some drivers aren’t pleased.
“It’s just going to be awfully bright when you are driving,” Clark said.
“I probably would have gone with fewer,” said Morris. “It just seems like they are really closely spaced together.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation tells News Channel 6 the single-headed 150-watt fixtures were placed on the median to limit the amount of light that will show past the shoulders of the road. Although 200 lights might seem like a lot to some drivers, G.D.O.T. went with a low watt fixture to avoid hot spots in the historic district.
“I’m actually excited about it. I’m probably going to go down there today just to see the lights and everything,” said Domonique King, a resident of Augusta.
There are still some lights left to install, so it will be a few more weeks before they are actually turned on.
The Georgia Department of Transportation was also able to renegotiation with the contractor to do some other improvements, that stay within the budget, including cleaning up the grass in this area and adding some more guard rails.