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Work begins on government center

Motorists accustomed to traveling along Railroad Street in Thomson are being a little inconvenienced these days.

The reason: Work has officially begun on the new multi-million dollar Thomson-McDuffie County Government and Judicial Center.

Moving dirt from one side of the street to the other is the name of the game these days and will be for awhile before actual construction on the project begins, according to McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton.

"It's great to see that some work has started over there," Mr. Newton said. "They've got a lot of work ahead of them. They've got a lot of dirt to move around before they can start building our new government center."

Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry echoed those thoughts.

"We've been waiting a long time to see this project get started," Mr. Usry said. "We've attended a lot of meetings and had a lot of discussions. It's nice to finally see some work actually taking place on that piece of property."

The joint government/judicial center should be completed in 18 months after actual construction begins, according to Jud Bryant, who has helped local officials with various phases of the project. Mr. Bryant will continue to offer local officials advice concerning the project.

Motorists traveling in that area during the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. are being warned that Railroad Street will be closed and re-opened for night travel. The closure during those hours started Monday. The area consists is located between O'Neal Street at Railroad Street and back west towards town at the intersection of Railroad and Greenway streets, according to Thomson Administrator Don Powers.

"Trucks and heavy equipment will be crossing Railroad Street each day, as site work for the government center gets underway and the construction crew felt that closing this portion of the street during work hours would be safest," Mr. Powers explained in a prepared statement sent to area media representatives.

The closure of the street during the daylight hours will be ongoing for several weeks.

"The city and county apologize for any inconvenience," Mr. Powers said.

Web posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010

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