AUGUSTA, Ga. – Mixed reactions are pouring in over these new design plans for the Fifth Street pedestrian bridge. It’s a $10.5 million project that could include a history walk, a shaded plaza, art, kid zones, and more all with the goal of bringing more foot traffic downtown.
Some love the idea, others not so much. What are some of the concerns of those not on board?
It’s continued development for downtown. You’d think everybody would be on board but many people have concerns over how safe the bridge will be and if people will actually use it.
“It’s a good way to mitigate, not being able to fix the bridge,” said John Curry, owner of Buona Caffe downtown and someone who has lived in Augusta for several years.
When he’s not making coffee he enjoys walking the North Augusta Greenway and Riverwalk. So, a new Fifth Street bridge for pedestrians has him excited.
“I think it’s all a good thing for Augusta’s growth and expansion and more things to do downtown,” he said.
The city closed it back in June with plans to make it a walkway connecting Augustan’s to the other side of the river.
“See, the river already brings in attraction, but really there’s no connectivity. So, it will create more connectivity and we already have a Riverwalk, the levy, there’s a lot of features already there so we can maximize all that,” said Hameed Malik, Augusta Director of Engineering.
We asked what you thought, many people loved it others questioned the safety.
“It should not be any problem taking the light load when people walk over there. Yes, definitely it will be safe,” he said. “We’re gonna have additional railings to the existing railings, you know, especially the small children.”
Crime is also a concern for some. Back in 2016, a shooting at the Riverwalk made cameras a ‘priority’ but not many were added. In SPLOST 8 the sheriff’s office requested $1 million for additional cameras downtown. They got half of what they requested. But Curry says he sees the community safety officers patrolling the area every day.