Fayette County News

Fayette County


Friends, family gather for dedication of Easterbrook Way

Friends and family gathered Tuesday morning as the City of Fayetteville officially dedicated Easterbrook Way in honor of former City Engineer Don Easterbrook. (Staff Photo by Christopher Dunn)

A stretch of road aimed at easing a traffic burden for years into the future was ceremonially opened with a look back to the past to honor its namesake. Tuesday morning, officials from the City of Fayetteville, both current and past, and the county were among those to join the family of the late Don Easterbrook in officially dedicating Easterbrook Way.
Easterbrook worked as Fayetteville’s City Engineer for more than 20 years before his death in 2012. He had a hand in so many key projects in the City in those years, and this particular stretch was part of a very important project to him. It connects Hwy. 92 North and North Jeff Davis Dr. as part of the full Hwy. 92-Hood Ave. realignment project that Easterbrook first cooked up over a decade ago. In 2010, Fayetteville’s City Council voted to name the bypass in his honor.
As someone who worked with Easterbrook for many years, former Mayor Ken Steele spoke at length about his friend and what he meant to Fayetteville.
“When he hired on, we were a very small community,” said Steele, noting that in the late 1970s the population of Fayetteville was only 1,800 and the county at 17,000. “We were about to begin a rapid growth, and, quite frankly, we weren’t ready for it in terms of infrastructure. Don impacted everything you see in Fayetteville in terms of infrastructure.”
Steele also noted that it was Easterbrook who pushed for the first roundabout on Beauregard Blvd.
“Don did a lot of research,” he said, adding that the roundabout came at a lower cost and will be suitable to maintain traffic flow until 2028, whereas a traffic light would have cost more and already failing in traffic level management by next year. “We were one of the first thanks to Don’s leadership, and now GDOT has fallen in love with roundabouts.”
His impact will be long-lasting, especially when the full realignment project is finished.
“When this project is complete and opened up 100 percent, it is going to have a positive impact on the north side of Fayetteville for decades to come,” said Steele.
Current Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson noted that the project is currently ahead of schedule and under budget, something that Easterbrook surely would have appreciated it.
Easterbrook’s wife Margarita, son Vincent, daughter Cristina, and brother Jack joined in the celebration of Don’s life.
“My daughter Cristina, my son Vincent, and I know very well how special this project was for Don,” Easterbrook said. “It was one of his favorite topics of conversation at the time.
“Very patiently, he tried to explain to us over and over how it was going work, how it was going to solve the traffic flow,” she continued. “We finally got it. Now we understand it.
“We will forever smile as we drive by Easterbrook Way.”
Steele shared the sentiments of many.
“I have nothing but respect for Don, and I miss him.”

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.