UPDATE| Excavation begins on Project Jackson site

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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Work to start moving dirt around the Project Jackson site has begun, as City Council nears final vote on Master Development Agreement.

The older brick buildings that used to stand on the property are gone now. The city says the construction group is working on clearing the site and other infrastructure work in preparation to start work on the stadium once final approval is voted on.

City leaders say they hope to have the final reading of the Master Development Agreement by the end of January.

Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 News 12 NBC 26 at 11 O'Clock

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's been a long time coming but today people in North Augusta finally got to see construction equipment make it's way to the riverfront.

"Me and one of my neighbors were just talking about it last night how we're both really excited about it finally getting underway," Vaughn Maxwell said, who lives in Hammond's Ferry.

City crews will work to connect the sewer system this week before work on the rest of the infrastructure gets underway next week. People like Maxwell have been waiting to see some progress for years.

"We were under the impression it was going to start pretty soon when we moved in and we were excited about it and here we are three years later," Maxwell said.

North Augusta City Council approved the funding for infrastructure work tonight, but the key to the project is the Master Development Agreement. And the third reading is now a little further away.

"We anticipate probably having a second reading of the MDA again on that agenda as we've made some substantive changes to it and we can't have third reading," North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover said.

But the ground work begins next week, Glover says it will be the start of a lengthy road block.

"At least for probably the next 12 to 14 months that portion of the road will be closed off," Glover said.

He's talking about the entrance to Hammond's Ferry through Railroad Avenue. It will be blocked off and drivers will need to use Crystal Lake Drive instead.

"That doesn't bother us at all, the entrance off of Crystal Lake Drive is just as easy to get in and out of the subdivision as it is Center Drive," Maxwell said.

Tonight's vote was to approve $16 million in temporary financing for both the MEDAC parking deck and the infrastructure work. That money will go towards the $60 million for the entire cost of Project Jackson covered by the city.

Glover says they are feeling more comfortable with the hotel and retail components and could reveal those at next Tuesday's meeting.

Read the original version of this article at www.wrdw.com.