Masters traffic routes cause delays

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

Driving during Masters can mean more than just fighting traffic. You could have to find a new way to get around.

The Washington Road exit on I-20 is one of several main areas that have been closed off this week. Traffic experts say it's all for safety. But it's causing confusion with some drivers.

Russell Benoit is no stranger to the delays...but he didn't expect to see deputies blocking Alexander Drive. That's his way to work.

"I have to go all the way down River Watch Parkway back up Calhoun to Washington Road...I'm supposed to be at work at 9, but I got there at 10," Benoit said.

Kenneth Mass with the traffic control center said, "It takes you out of the way, but it's the fastest."

He sends teams out to test the best routes. They say River Watch can handle the most cars. Narrow roads like Alexander back up and cause delays.

"It's a took me an hour and a half on Washington," said driver Dale O'Neal.

The traffic center is also blocking the I-20 Washington Road exit during peak hours, forcing drivers to use River Watch, and adding time to lights in busy intersections.

It's all shortened the average commute around town from an hour and a half to 45 minutes...a refreshing change for Mike Defrancesco, who's used to Las Vegas traffic.

"I expected a tremendous amount of traffic, but when we got in it was moving great and lots of places to park," Defrancesco said.

But it's a different story for locals like Russell Benoit.

"Trying to turn right to get onto Broad Street this morning was almost impossible with the traffic," Benoit said.

The traffic center says they'll keep doing trial runs in the morning to make sure you know what roads to take, and what roads to avoid.

Three hot spots deputies say you'll want to watch out for are Washington Road along with parts of River Watch Parkway and Wheeler Road.

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