News 12 First at Five -- March 30, 2010
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- It's almost that time! And with only days left until Augusta welcomes thousands for Masters Week, city leaders have laid out detailed plans for how they hope to keep traffic flowing smoothly.
“As usual, we'll be monitoring the cameras, we'll be doing travel time runs, we'll have people driving and looking for issues and we'll make adjustments as we go,” says Richmond County traffic engineer Steve Cassell.
For local traffic, Cassell says your best bet is to use River Watch Parkway to avoid most of the congestion.
But if you do have to brave the traffic, there will be a few changes you should know about.
Starting on Washington Road, in the mornings there will be no through traffic on Alexander Drive. Cars will be able to turn off of Alexander, but not go straight onto the street.
If you’re heading out to the course, there’s a change in this years parking. Instead of turning onto Berkmans Road, you’ll use Stanley Drive. But in the morning, there is no left turn onto Berkmans from Washington Road.
Engineers have also added some new technology this year: electronic message boards have been placed along a 16-mile stretch of I-20 to let drivers know about any accidents or traffic delays.
The city is also unveiling a new fleet of traffic cameras: six on Washington Road, two on I-20 and one at River Watch Parkway and 15th street. The cameras will link pictures online, so you can monitor the traffic from home.
“It’s a high tech operation,” says Mayor Deke Copenhaver. “One of the best things about it is that it's really open to change throughout the week.”
“I believe our plans this year will facilitate smooth traffic throughout the week,” he adds.
With the newly finished Palmetto Parkway now open for the first time during Masters Week, Cassell says they'll encourage people to use that route to clear up Washington Road.
To help move traffic along, there will be people monitoring the intersections on Washington Road throughout the morning. Sheriff’s deputies will be stationed along Washington Road to help direct traffic and help pedestrians cross safely. They will also have the ability to adjust timing for traffic lights.
Cassell also advises people to not rely on GPS directions to get to the course, because they won't indicate turn restrictions or road closings.
For a more detailed look at the traffic plan, and to find out how it will affect your morning drive, click the link below.