After a recent drive up Water Street in Augusta, I had the impression that the change of traffic patterns from one-way to two-way lanes with diagonal parking on both sides of the street is going to work out well. I was also impressed by how many of the Water Street storefronts are occupied by businesses now after years of being vacant. And the number of people occupying downtown was impressive.

When I retired from Capital Weekly eight years ago, downtown Augusta was plagued with empty, dingy buildings where prosperous businesses once stood. There were many plans for developing such places as the former Statler Tissue Corp., but very little was being done.

Now it looks like downtown is undergoing a renaissance, from the Colonial Theater to the new fire station. Combined with such signs of a thriving capital city as the new hospital, the Lithgow library expansion, the new YMCA and the Judicial Center, senior apartments at the original Cony High School and at the former Hodgkins School, and the old City Hall, and it shows the capital is still growing.


John Hale

North Monmouth