By Patrick Yost
Madison Council Member Chris Hodges is finally going to get her wish.
When Hodges announced her intention to run, she said she looked around Madison and tried to find a public works project that could change lives.
“When I first ran for office I was looking for something I could actually accomplish.”
What she saw were people in the Beacon Heights/ Micha Way area having to cross U.S. 441 without crosswalks while trying to get to Madison’s only grocery store, Ingles.
Hodges said she watched with apprehension one day as a man in a wheel chair negotiated traffic to get to the store. “For him to get to Ingles he has to cross 441 or he doesn’t got to the store.”
So after she was elected in 2014, she started begging for sidewalks. “We needed connectivity of sidewalks in the area of Beacon Heights,” she said.
On January 27 the city of Madison will open bids for the construction of nearly a half mile of sidewalk, roughly from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Store on Eatonton Road to McDonald’s, near Interstate 20.
According to Madison City Manager David Nunn, the project will cost somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 and will be paid for, primarily, with Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) revenue. In total the bid package is looking to pour 2,500 feet of concrete sidewalk in the area.
“It’s not as easy a process as I though it would be,” she said. “Sometimes, what makes sense, doesn’t make sense.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation had to be consulted on the project.
“We’re filling in the gaps,” she said. “It’s taken every bit of me to push this.”