Harden Hill will have sidewalks next year - Oconee Enterprise: News

     Watkinsville, Oconee County, Georgia

Harden Hill will have sidewalks next year

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Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:00 pm

Harden Hill Road has come a long way from its origins as an 18th century stagecoach path from Athens to Madison. Nowadays, more than 2,100 vehicles traverse the road each day, making it one of the busiest routes in Watkinsville and a connector to U.S. 441, Ga. Route 15 and downtown Watkinsville.

The city of Watkinsville hopes to finish a 4,300-linear-foot sidewalk project along Harden Hill by spring. Construction is expected to begin before the end of the year. The city is in the process of acquiring right-of-way for the $908,000 project.

In addition to the $298,800 state grant, the city of Watkinsville will be spending $302,500 from SPLOST 2009 and $207,500 from SPLOST 2015. The remaining $99,200 will come from the city’s reserve funds. 

The 2019 fiscal year budget includes $20,000 for a transportation study, $12,000 for traffic calming devices and five bike racks at a combined cost of $3,000.

“This is the most requested project I’ve had in 14 years of being on the city council,” Councilman Brian Brodrick said at an open house last week where city officials were answering questions and garnering signatures for right-of-way acquisition.

 

There will be two signal crossings at Water Street and at Watkinsville Woods. Councilman Dan Matthews said the Harden Hill and Water Street intersection is “a nightmare for people to see, hear and be seen.” City Engineer Mark Campbell said the flashing beacons will be solar powered. 

The western side of Harden Hill Road will be widened three feet with the added curb and gutter. Brodrick said he hopes that will slow down traffic.

The sidewalk will be five feet wide, which is comparable to the sidewalks on VFW Drive. The route will start at Main Street and run on the west side of Harden Hill Road to its intersection with New High Shoals Road.

“It will be an amazing stretch of sidewalk that will instantly create a neighborhood,” said Watkinsville Mayor Shearon. “It will create the Harden Hill neighborhood corridor.”

For more on this story, see the Sept. 20 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.comor call (706) 769-5175.

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