More lights; more cost for Walton Way work

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – They are putting new lights on Walton Way but some are saying the city’s plan wasn’t so bright.

“I sort of question the fact that it appears wasn’t too much thought put initially and now we’re going to incur additional costs,” says Commissioner Bill Lockett.

As part of the Walton Way makeover, dozens and dozens of new street lights are going in. The plan was to put in some taller ones and some smaller ones.

But now after looking at all of the utility lines and trees, city engineers have determined the big lights need to be out.

“That had to change because there was a conflict with utilities and trees so we had to come down to 12 feet and put them closer together,” says Engineering Department Director Abie Ladson.

The changeover means there will be about five dozen more lamp posts along this stretch of Walton Way and of course it’s going to be more expensive adding $380-thousand to the cost.

It would have been a lot cheaper to have started with the smaller lights in the first place, and city engineers don’t disagree, but say it’s out of the norm.

“We have 45 to 50 projects going on, this is the first change order on any of them. Of course you’re going to have some oversights,” said Ladson.

A commission committee approved adding more light poles on Walton Way as well as the additional costs to change the contract.

What about the price tag another $380-thousand?

“You got to pay the cost to be the boss, you got to pay the cost to be the boss,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

To cover the additional costs the city will not have to dig into its money or sales tax funds

There is money in the existing Walton Way T-SPLOT budget to pay for it.

The work is expected to take the rest of this year and finish up before April of next year.

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