Public Invited To Offer Input On Richland Ave. Improvements

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The city of Athens held a public comment session this afternoon on the future of Richland Avenue.  

Merchants and business owners were encouraged to offer their input on proposed improvements to the busy street.   
City officials say one of their major goals is to improve traffic flow on Richland, so that businesses are more accessible.  
However, the construction and rehabilitation of the thoroughfare could put a snag in those plans.  
That's why officials are searching for a plan that everyone will support.   
"I'm looking for a solution that will benefit all the stakeholders: the residents, the businesses, the tourists coming into town, or the person who lives outside of town that's coming into Athens just to work," says Jeff Risner, Athens City Council 2nd Ward Representative.
"This is not just a pavement project.  This is a multi-faceted infrastructre project.  It involves not only the pavement condition of Richland Avenue, but also the sidewalk condition, the curb condition, the drainage conditions, and the nearby Coates Run, as well as water line and sanitary sewer lines underneath," says Andy Stone, Athens City Director of Engineering and Public Works. 
Stone says he expects the project to cost between two and three million dollars with construction beginning next year.