I probably drive through the intersection of Fair Road and Zetterower Avenue at least four times a day. In doing so over the last few weeks, I have thought to myself many times, why in the world are they putting all of those telephone poles in the ground as they prepare to construct the new CVS pharmacy?
My curiosity got the better of me this past Friday, and I called Robert Cheshire, engineer for the city of Statesboro. If you know Cheshire well, then you know he has a fabulous sense of humor, and my conversation with him Friday was no exception.
When I first asked Cheshire what was going on with the site, he said without a hitch that they were building a pier or possibly a seafood restaurant on a pier. Hilarious, but clearly not plausible.
Once I quit laughing, the conversation turned a bit more serious, and Cheshire said he wasn't absolutely sure what was happening, but he felt they were employing a ground stabilizing method that is used near the coastline where there is more water in the soil.
"I haven't seen that technique used in this area, but their geotech survey must have shown something that warranted this step in the construction process," he said. "To my knowledge, everything is moving along just fine."
He spoke briefly about the reconfiguration of the intersection of Zetterower/Tillman and Fair Road.
"We are in the process of having that study done as we speak," he said. "It isn't going to affect the construction of the CVS site, because it was designed with a generous setback in light of the potential changes with the intersection."
Cheshire said one of the big challenges is making the intersection more fluid for the increase in traffic count, as well as making it more pedestrian friendly.
"Those two things are sort of diametrically opposed, in that you are allowing for more cars and more pedestrians," he said. "The university is constructing a trail which will meet up with McTell Trail at that intersection. All of that will have to be taken into account with a limited space within which to work. I am confident that a workable solution will be reached, and traffic will ultimately run much more smoothly there without the backups we have been experiencing."
Cheshire said it will take some time to get changes in the intersection underway, because when all is said and done, any changes will require DOT approval.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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