Rail lines downtown enter new JBA debate

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) For drivers this is nothing new in downtown Augusta, the train can be a pain.

“The train does block access sometimes we’re between two railroad tracks,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.

Mayor Davis knows this,  at his press conference last week, he said those rail lines downtown are a good reason for the arena to go to Regency Mall, because there’s no train lines near there.

“That is what  we have available to us versus the bottle neck called CSX and Norfolk Southern, said Davis as the crowd behind him let out a little laugh.

“I’ve been to so many shows over the years and I’ve never had that issue I have that issue more during  the day coming down for meetings but it might delay you for a couple of minutes I don’t think that’s a game changer for having the arena downtown,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Davis.

What might be a game changer downtown would be new rail overpasses.

There’s one across the sixth street track now and  one on 15th Street, but they’ve been there for decades, with no new ones  in the pipeline,

City planners say there are a couple or good reasons costs and regulations.

“You have to go through a very rigorous approval process even if we were able to begin the process, said Melanie Wilson, the Director of Planning and Development.

“Costly and bureaucratic?”

“Very costly probably more so costly then bureaucratic,” said Wilson.

Relief from trains won’t soon be coming to Augusta, but was the mayor right to point out this flaw for downtown

“This shouldn’t be one side of August against another side we need to look at the big picture,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Davis.

Planning and Development Director Melanie Wilson says over passes are tough to build in urban area  because they need a lot of land which means the city must acquire private property, and property owners nearby often protest because the structures can reduce property values

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