The Truman Parkway was an idea in the mind of one man, Walter Stillwell, back in 1925.
By the 1950's it was being called the Casey Canal Parkway, and was supposed to cost about $500,000 to finish.
The things and the dollars have certainly changed in the 60 years since.
"Is this gonna be built in my lifetime?"
That was a comment from a County Commission meeting in 1999. And drivers in the same year had a lot to say as well.
"Kind of hard to understand why it takes twenty years to build the road."
"Do you think its been to long? Way to long, way to long."
Approved in 1985, Phase One was built by 1993, and the Truman Parkway was off and driving.
"I hope it finishes soon because I live out that way and it's real inconvenient."
But it isn't until now, almost 29 years later, that the entire five phases of the Truman Parkway would be done.
That's a lot of time and a lot of money involved. How much? We followed the parkway to find out.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has spent $162,559,749.01 in construction costs alone for all five phases. That's state and federal money combined.
And more than $192,524,824.92 when you add in preconstruction and right of ways.
Phase 4, from Whitfield to Montgomery Crossroad was the cheapest to build, at a little over $17,000,000
The most expensive was Phase 5 when its finished the ramp from Abercorn to Whitfield. It checks in at more than $75,000,000.
"Oh boy, I was elated," said Pete Liakakis in 2005. "I felt like jumping up and down and screaming because it was terrific."
While Chatham County was happy to get all that Federal money, it had to pitch in too.
Five phases, 51.6 total miles. A project which has been on every sales tax referendum since 1985, its cost Chatham County taxpayers $70,000,000
But to be able to drive from Downtown Savannah to Abercorn Street, for many folks no cost is too much.
As for how long its taken to finish this project, its taken a lot longer than expected. Back in 1999, leaders believed all phases would be finished by 2005.
Between weather delays, contract changes and issues over funding, no one involved can say when the Truman should have been finished. But everyone will be happy when the final roadblocks are removed.
3221 South Evans Street
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