Planning, Promoting, and implementing
the tomorrow of downtown Augusta, Georgia

View Gallery Gateways & Corridors

The Augusta region is fortunate to have a marvelous roadway system. Although not a specific district - because gateways (entrance ways) and corridors in Augusta and North Augusta are part of every district - a committee is focusing on beautifying these gateways and corridors. Many of the gateways and corridors are getting major face lifts and updates that allow vehicular traffic to better navigate around our region.

Beginning in 2010, a public/private partnership has worked to beautify the City of Augusta’s major entryways and corridors. The partnership is a collaboration of the City of Augusta, Georgia Department of Transportation, the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Augusta Utilities Department, Augusta Tomorrow, Inc., business leaders and concerned citizens.

In December 2010, Augusta Tomorrow and the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau developed  tax deductible avenue for beautifying Augusta's gateways and corridors. This fund, called the Garden City Improvement Fund, allows private monies to be earmarked for specific gateway and corridor development projects and the contributions are tax deductible. The Community Foundation manages the monies and a board of directors distributes the funds,

For each gateway/corridor project, money is raised for commissioning plans, working on bids, managing construction and, after the project is complete, continuing to oversee weekly landscape maintenance. Completing these roadway transformations is rewarding and the projects receive a lot of positive feedback from the public and local businesses.

Another massive investment in the Augusta area's transportation projects was approved by the citizens in our region on 7/31/2012. Only three regions in the State of Georgia (Augusta, Albany and Vidalia) approved this massive Transportation referendum, and these regions will generate over $1.8 billion in local transportation investment.  An approved list of projects was put forth to the voters, and those projects have 10 years in which to be completed. These projects will enhance the gateway and corridor beautification projects already under development and those to be developed.

The Big Idea: Update and Upgrade this 40-year-old Road
Cost: $8.4 million
Time: 2016-2017
Details: New light poles, concrete repairs, pavement replacement, resurfacing and rehabilitation to improve the structural integrity, ride quality and aesthetics are being worked on for this gateway corridor into downtown Augusta from West Augusta.
Progress: Work on this project began 6/7/2016 and was completed prior to April 2017.
The Big Idea: Bring the historical look back to the bridge and complete extensive repairs on the bridge.
Cost: $2 million
Time: In Progress 2016-2017
Details: The project includes replacing of the bridge decking, adding bike lanes to both sides of the road and restoring or replacing some of the historical elements including the lighting.

Contractors worked closely with Historic Augusta to make sure the historical look was maintained.

The Augusta Canal was drained in late May 2016 from the bulkhead gates near Lake Olmstead to allow for work to be done on the bridge.

Immediately after the closure, crews began working on the underside of the bridge. Crews will then move to the top side where they will work on a full deck repair.

The bridge was dedicated April 15, 1914 to honor Archibald Butt, an Augusta native. Butt, a military man and close adviser to President William Howard Taft, died on the Titanic in 1912. Witnesses said he went down with the ship after giving up his lifeboat seat to women and children.
Progress: Completed 4/2017
The Big Idea: Riverwatch Parkway/I-20 Interchange Beautification
Details: Riverwatch Parkway is a major thoroughfare that takes travelers from Interstate 20 (I-20) to downtown Augusta. This is a major gateway into Augusta.

The Interstate 20 and Riverwatch Parkway interchange and median beautification project commenced in the summer of 2016 and will be completed during the summer of 2017. The project includes replacing the concrete medians with "open medians" that can receive landscaping and pavers, and landscaping the interchange at Riverwatch Parkway and I-20. This project is being funded via a Georgia Department of Transportation TIA (Transportation Investment Act) grant. The center medians west of I-20 to Quarry Road are being reconstructed of concrete. Landscaping will be installed on the northern shoulder of Riverwatch Parkway at Gun Club Road and the I-20 westbound ramp. The center medians east of I-20 are not irrigated and are being landscaped with drought tolerant plant material including tree, shrubs and grasses.
Progress: Work continuing into 2017
The Big Idea: Beautify the corridor from I-520 at Sand Bar Ferry Road between East Boundary and East Cedar Street
Time: June 2015 through April 2016 to complete Phase I
Details: This is a very important corridor for visitors arriving from South Carolina and the Low Country areas via I-520 (Bobby Jones Expressway) to Augusta. Phase I construction started in 2015 and ended April 2016.

Phase I included planting, drainage and irrigation of the triangular island at Broad Street and Sand Bar Ferry Road with trees, shrubs and sod. The center medians and shoulders between I-520 and East Boundary are being maintained - mowed and edged - as well.

Of special interest, during construction, sidewalks were discovered under 4-6 inches of dirt and weeds on the shoulders of Sand Bar Ferry Road. Those areas were all excavated during construction to expose the sidewalks.
Progress: Phase I completed.
The Big Idea: Narrow 2 blocks for Pedestrian Safety at AU downtown Campus while increasing aesthetics
Cost: $1.8 million
Time: 2015-206
Details: Create a pedestrian friendly buffer with landscaping and increase safety in this two-block area as over 8,500 students, faculty and patients walk across Laney Walker Blvd. from 15th Street to R.A. Dent Blvd. everyday.
Progress: Project completed fourth quarter 2016.
Time: First Phase of the project completed in April 2014. Phase II completed in April 2015.
Details: The Doug Barnard Parkway is the road that takes visitors from the Augusta Regional Airport to I-520 (Bobby Jones Expressway) and downtown, and is the first impression many people have of Augusta.

In January 2013, the Augusta Commission voted to accept the transfer of ownership and maintenance of Doug Barnard Parkway from the Georgia Department of Transportation. That vote paved the way for implementing beautification plans that enhance the main airport terminal, the new general aviation terminal for private aircraft and improve visitors’ first impression as they arrive in Augusta.

The scope of work for Doug Barnard Parkway included airport driveway entrances and the medians between the Augusta Regional Airport and Bobby Jones Expressway with irrigation, drainage and plant material. Because of the scale and expense of this project, it was designed for implementation in phases. Phase I included the area between the Airport main entrance and Lock and Dam Road, and was completed prior to April of 2014 when thousands of visitors travel through the airport into the CSRA to attend the prestigious Masters Golf Tournament. Project design, procurement, construction and maintenance followed similar guidelines adhered to in the previously completed Wheeler Road, St. Sebastian Way and Alexander Drive projects. Phase II completed the medians between Dixon Airline Road and Lock and Dam Road and was completed in April 2015. This area was enhanced to include irrigation, drainage, trees and shrubs.

All donated funds are designated for the cost of construction and the on-going weekly landscape maintenance insuring the continued beauty of the corridor.

Progress: Phases I & II completed. Phase I completed in 2014. Phase II completed in 2015.
The Big Idea: Beautify Alexander Drive between Washington Road and Riverwatch Parkway
Details: This Collaboration with the Georgia Department of Transportation and Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau saw to completion the beautification of this roadway - a major entrance into Augusta and the Masters Golf Tournament especially with the realignment of Berckman Road crossing over Washington Road.
Progress: Roadway Beautification Completed 2013
The Big Idea: Beautify a portion of Gordon Highway
Time: Work was completed in 2012
Details: In August 2009, businesses and private individuals located along Gordon Highway got together and formed a Gordon Highway Development Committee with the intention to beautify this major highway from Fort Gordon to the city center. Regular clean-up days were organized and the group maintained some of the grassed areas that previously were maintained by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group raised $10,000 toward beautification of this highway

In 2010, with the help of the Gateways & Corridors Committee, the City of Augusta applied for a $50,000 Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Transportation Enhancement Grant to landscape the intersection of Gordon Highway and Dean's Bridge Road.

On 3/3/2011, the Georgia Department of Transportation awarded the Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Transportation Enhancement Grant in the amount of $50,000 to landscape the intersection of Gordon Highway and Dean's Bridge Road. The money was coupled with the $10,000 donated by the Gordon Highway Development Committee.

Progress: In March 2012, after three years of planning, work started on landscaping the 10,000 linear feet of weedy, unkempt median into an appealing gateway for Augusta-bound motorists near Bobby Jones Expressway. Old signs and weeds in the current medians were removed, and in their place low-lying garden beds and crepe myrtle trees were planted.
The Big Idea: Beautify the roadway built by the Georgia Department of Transportation
Details: The St. Sebastian Way Roadway was originally envisioned by Augusta Tomorrow in the mid-1990s, at which time board members started discussing this new roadway with the Georgia Department of Transportation. Over the years, there were many ideas for the correct routes for this road. The basic need for this road development always remained the same:

1. To improve traffic to the Medical District from the west and bypass local railroad tracks;

2. To provide a new and more direct connection between the Medical District and the downtown urban area; and

3. To facilitate development of the Medical District along this new roadway.

This $30 million road officially opened to traffic in September 2011, and quickly changed the traffic patterns in the downtown area. On 3/8/2012, the final piece of this roadway was completed and open to traffic - 15th Street Bridge over the Augusta Canal.

Road building plans from the Georgia Department of Transportation do not include landscaping or roadside maintenance. Due to this, the medians along St. Sebastian Way had become choked with weeds. The Gateways & Corridors Committee convened stakeholder meetings in 2011 to discuss how best to rectify this situation and beautify this new roadway. Designs and cost estimates for the gateway and corridor beautification project were completed, and the project was finished in the spring of 2012.
Progress: The project was finished in the spring of 2012.
The Big Idea: Wheeler Road is the second most highly traveled road in Augusta and needed beautification.
Details: In late 2009, after reviewing gateways most heavily traveled by visitors to Augusta, it was found that the Wheeler Road gateway and corridor was the second most highly traveled roadway in Augusta second only to Washington Road. The Committee decided to tackle this second most highly traveled road and worked with the City of Augusta and a private landscaping company to clean and beautify Wheeler road from I-20 to I-520. The work accomplished included: mowing, edging, cleaning all gutters, removing weeds and debris in concrete cracks and adding pine straw tree "collars" around trees in the medians.

In early 2011, with the gateway and corridor still looking unkempt, the Committee decided it was time to make a full-scale renovation of this corridor.

By 4/4/2011, the Wheeler road corridor beautification project was complete. The scope of work included installation of water source lines to each median, removal of unsuitable soil and replacement with topsoil, installation of an irrigation system, planting Zoysia sod, Willow Oak trees and three ornamental beds.

This project is a public/private partnership. Wheeler road business owners funded the initial construction and continue to fund weekly maintenance year round (52 weeks a year); the city of Augusta provided traffic control and water source lines and continues to provide water for irrigation within the right-of-way.
Progress: Project was completed in April 2011.