MACON, Ga. — If you drove down I-75 in Macon lately and thought it looked a little greener, you're right! Macon-Bibb County is working to add landscaping at the highway exits on Bass Road, Eisenhower Parkway and Pio Nono Avenue.
Landscaping crews are going one interchange at a time, and they started off of Bass Road. They took about three weeks to finish before moving to Eisenhower Parkway, where things have been underway for about a week.
Wimberly Treadwell is the landscape architect behind the highway improvement project. She thinks of it as a welcome mat to Macon.
"When you come into Macon and you see consistent landscaping, you'll know you've arrived," Treadwell said.
In short, that's the goal, she says. It's all about welcoming people to town.
"The mayor had an initiative to clean up our entrances to downtown Macon," she explained. "We are so excited to do that."
Mayor Lester Miller says making Macon's entrances a little brighter can help encourage people to stay longer, turning greenery into green for the local economy. Treadwell says there's a lot that goes into that.
"Each project is four quadrants, with the exception of Pio Nono, because it's a circle. We're doing all four quadrants, so it's visible from the interstate, and for the people getting on and off the interstate. It serves as a big welcome to our community," Treadwell said.
In February, commissioners approved about $438,000 for the landscaping. The county will also pay to maintain it all once it's finished, even though the land still belongs to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
They plan to finish the work on Eisenhower Parkway within the next couple of weeks. Then, the work will move to Pio Nono Avenue, where they hope for a similar timeline.