Demolition is underway in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood as crews from Georgia Department of Transportation and the Macon-Bibb Community Enhancement Authority prepare for expansion to Interstate 75.
In the 1960s, construction of I-75 split Pleasant Hill in two, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many people who lived there.
Now GDOT is working with neighbors to demolish blighted structures and move architecturally-significant buildings to the west side of the interstate. 17 new homes will also be built in Pleasant Hill.
State Representative James Beverly, chairman of the Community Enhancement Authority, says contractors will be hired to remodel the homes based on the quality of their workmanship and ability to hire local workers.
"Pleasant Hill's going to look completely different in two or three years, so much so I think I'm going to move over here, right? It's going to be fantastic, so it's good to be on the ground floor and look at it today, but if you come back in 3 years, if we do what we need to do, which we will, this place is going to look fantastic," said Beverly.
Earnes Jones has lived in Pleasant Hill for 13 years. Her home is across the street from several buildings being demolished.
Jones says she's happy the buildings are being torn down because she is tired of blighted homes bringing crime to the area.
Demolition and moving of homes will continue for the next 6 weeks. After the structures are stabilized, Macon-Bibb Community Enhancement Authority will accept bids for contractors to renovate the homes.
James Beverly says moving and renovating the homes will cost $2-3 million.