AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – Coverage you can count on begins with work nearing completion on a historic Augusta road.
On Monday, you will finally be able to drive on the new Berckmans Road.
WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman reports on the first half of the project.
The first part of the project is about realigning Berckmans Road so it connects with Alexander Drive at Washington Road. Ultimately, the project will have Berckmans Road connect Washington Road to Wheeler Road.
The Berckmans Road project has been underway since the end of Masters 2015. Augusta Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell says crews are rushing to get phase one done in time for Masters Week 2016.
“Activity is really starting to pick up around there, so it was important to get that road open and realigned so we wouldn’t have a lot of confusion and everybody has a consistent plan and a route to where they need to go to for the next month and a half,” Said Cassell.
For almost 150 years the Berckmans Road entrance has been at the water tower. Cassell says the current traffic lights at the former Berckmans Road and Washington Road will not be removed, but you won’t be able to drive through there after this weekend.
“You know that was all part of the land swap so that road will cease to be a public road at that point,” Cassell said.
On Monday Berckmans Road will no longer be called Berckmans Road, instead it will be renamed Old Berckmans Road. The new Berckmans Road will over by Stanley and Alexander Drive, but it’s not just the road that’s changing.
“The project includes sidewalks on both sides. Actually one side will be a mulituse trail, which will be bicycles and sidewalks. And there’s going to be some street scape and a pedestrian tunnel will be used during the Masters tournament as well,” Cassell told WJBF News Channel 6.
Work on phase two of the project will begin after Masters this year, it will cost about $20 million dollars.
For now Cassell his team are working to make sure people get used to the new Berckmans Road before the world comes to Augusta.
“So that will be the biggest change, is trying to convince people, I mean old habits die-hard. So it’s going to be a retraining exercise for the next month,” said Cassell.
The Traffic Engineer hopes Phase two of the project will be finished in time for the 2017 Masters.