Created: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:06:00 EST
Updated: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:59:32 EST
Around 50 people gathered at the Booker T. Washington Community Center in Macon's Pleasant Hill neighborhood Thursday for a public hearing on GDOT's plans to expand and reconstruct parts of Interstate 75 and Interstate 16.
The meeting was designed so GDOT representatives could get public feedback on different designs and building materials for walls to keep the sounds and sights of the interstate out of the neighborhood.
While many people voiced their displeasure for any work to be done, one woman who says she represents a group of homeowners in the Northbrook area is optimistic about the project.
"I would just like to see it improve, so there wouldn't be so many accidents," said Annie Cornelius.
Cornelius says parts of her neighbors property will be annexed to widen Riverside Drive. All she is asking for in return, is sound proof windows for her neighbors and a nice looking wall to keep out the sights and sounds of the interstate.
"It would compliment not only the highway, but compliment the neighborhood too," Cornelius said.
A spokesperson for the company helping to oversee the project with GDOT says despite the criticism, the meeting accomplished a lot.
"Whenever you get an opportunity to get out and hear what people are thinking in the community it's a good thing," said Jeff Dickerson, Public Affairs Officer for EnviroResolution.
People at the meeting were shown different kinds of wall designs including a stone design, a barrier decorated with musical symbols, and another with cherry blossoms. Where the barriers will be located and a layout of improvements were also revealed.
While many voiced their resistance to the project. Cornelius says, she just hopes work can begin sooner rather than later.
"I went to a meeting years ago when they had it at the coliseum, and I thought that they were going to start then, they put it off. I want them to stop putting it off and get something done right away," Cornelius said.
If you live in an affected neighborhood, GDOT wants your feedback. You can access the project plans by going to the GDOT projects website at http://www.dot.ga.gov/Projects/Pages/default.aspx
You can search the project by using the project I.D. numbers, 311000, 311005, 311400, 311410, or searching for Bibb County.
You can then mail your comments to Mr. Glenn Bowman, P.E., State Environmental Administrator, Georgia Department of Transportation, 600 West Peachtree Street, Nw - 16th Floor, Atlanta, GA, 30308.