Although there was no fanfare, most of Augusta felt like celebrating last Friday when one of the community's busiest intersections reopened.
The streets were closed at Kelly & Ohio on April 29th and the project was completed in less than four months. The rains last month delayed the work by a couple of weeks.
The new intersection is a traditional four-legged intersection with designated left turn lanes.
During construction, Ohio Street traffic was rerouted along a detour from 14th to Dearborn to Josephine and back to Ohio St. A temporary traffic signal was installed at the Kelly and Dearborn intersection. Some motorists are wondering when the temporary stop light will be removed now that project is complete.
According to Josh Shaw, Interim Augusta City Manager, the removal of the temporary traffic light is up to the electrical contractor of the intersection project. At this time no one is certain when the light will come down.
Residents living along the designated detour route are able to park on the streets once again.
Life is returning back to normal.
Sheila Lowrie, Media Relations Manager with Kroger, reported that many of the local Dillons customers had been frustrated at first.
"Customers did not like the alternate route to the store, but the end result makes it all worth it. They like the easy access and the new turning lane."
Down the street at Casey's General Store the opening of the new intersection has made a definite impact. Assistant Manager Connie McElroy said, "We felt a big difference when the intersection closed. Then last Friday it was like flood gates opening. It was amazing. We really needed it."