News 12 First at Five; March 18, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- We're just a few weeks away from the golf world coming to Augusta. We have a look at what the traffic changes are for Masters 2009.
Washington Road or I-20. Bobby Jones Expressway or Riverwatch Parkway or Martintown Road. Lots of choices for you to make to get around the Masters this year, but one thing is for sure.
"Turn your GPS off," says Traffic Engineer Steven Cassell. "It's going to take you to the wrong place."
If you're going to catch some golf, here's what you need to do. If you're coming up Washington Road Eastbound from I-20, you need to turn right onto Stanley Drive to get to the parking. If you go any farther towards the course, you are going to miss your spot and have to turn right back around into the traffic.
If you are coming from Downtown Augusta up Westbound on Washington Road, follow the golf signs to park in lot A3.
"Sometimes it would be better to drive a little further to get there quicker," adds Steven. Believe it or not, that means heading into South Carolina from I-20 and hopping onto Martintown Road. Then, you will need to cross back into Georgia from the 13th Street Bridge and follow all the golf signs from there.
When you leave the course, an added bonus is back this year. The I-20 Westbound Ramp from Washington Road towards Atlanta will again be open this year from 2 til 9 every night.
So, if you want to avoid the traffic, here's what you should do. "Unless you're coming to the course, we recommend you stay off of Washington Road," Steven advises you.
One way around would be to take the Bobby Jones Expressway around town into South Carolina or vice versa. Or, you could snake your way through the back roads near your home.
You'll also want to avoid Berckmans Road. That's because this year, all pedestrians will be entering the golf course from Gate 6A. You will not be able to enter the course from any of the entrances on Washington Road as a pedestrian. So, there will be a lot of foot traffic on Berckmans near the course, so try to avoid it.
Of course, Masters Monday, the traffic command center will be back up and running at Westside High School. "You can come up with a plan, but the end of the day you're trying to model human behavior," says Steven. "We're going to have to see what human behavior brings us this year."
The biggie this year for the locals is with Alexander Drive. Sometimes people would use that to cut through to the course and miss the traffic. Well, traffic control tells us, not unless you are Tiger Woods or have clubs to head to the course.
There is also a lot of extra parking outside of the course, as that is where most of you will park this year. There are a little less than 7,000 spots expected to be used there.
We've linked you to the whole traffic report. Just click on the Find It! Button.