News 12 at 6 o'clock/Tuesday April 9, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)--It's Masters week, which should mean pretty bad traffic. But things have been running smoothly and some behind-the-scenes technology is partly thank.
A master control--for Masters traffic.
"We've got cameras up and down Washington Rd. and we basically monitor that, along with the deputies in the street so we can manage the traffic and try to balance the flow into the lots," said Steve Cassell, a Richmond Co. traffic engineer.
For one week the Georgia Department of Transportation teams up with Richmond County Traffic and Engineering to get high tech, using a control center to monitor the roadways for folks headed to The Augusta National.
And more than 50,000 cars will pass by the Masters every day this week.
"Between about 7:30 am and 9 am is about as busy as it's going to get," said Cassell. "Then it starts to taper off after 9:15 am."
Steve Cassell has been working the Masters week traffic control for more than six years now.
He says now they've got the process streamlined, dispersing traffic and using traffic cameras.
If the flow slows down, engineers can switch how much green time drivers get.
"That's why we close the I-20 ramp because everyone wants to get off at Washington Rd, but if we could force them to go around Riverwatch Pkwy, we can balance and spread everybody and it just...makes it a lot smoother," said Cassell.
The team's also using the web to provide real-time roadway information.
And drivers appreciate the effort.
"The traffic was not bad," said Hank Hammon, a Masters patron. "We came in from North Augusta and we went through downtown and came up from Broad St. and it was very easy getting in."
"We're excited, we liked it," said Bill and Margie Shulby, Masters patrons. "It was good and parking was easy, it was much easier than other years."
Follow the Augusta traffic engineering on Facebook and Twitter: @ARCTraffic
View live traffic cameras at augustatraffic.com