AUGUSTA, Ga. – As of 5 a.m. Monday, Stanley Drive officially became the new Berckmans Road. The road is finished but there are still lots of finishing touches left to be done.
It’s open to the traffic, but crew still need to put in another inch and a half of asphalt and the final road striping. Traffic engineers say it will take some time for people to get adjusted to the new route.
“Create a better connection and improve Washington Road over time,” says Steve Cassell, Augusta traffic engineer.
The new road was a SPLOST project to create a north-south connection between Riverwatch and Highland Avenue. It was also designed to alleviate the traffic from the Old Berkman’s Road that runs along The Augusta National Golf Club. But the new road, which Cassell calls a straight shot, is causing some confusion.
“You’re always going to have that when you shift intersection because there are people who are used to coming past Alexander Drive and turn onto Berckmans Road, but you got to convince them to turn off about a half mile early,” says Cassell.
Cassell says although the road is not complete, it is open to traffic to transition the old route out and get people familiarized with the new road.
“You have to tie in the stripping of the old road, so you got to transition so its continuous as oppose to, you don’t want to confuse people, especially if its late at night,” says Cassell.
“If you’re not use to the area, I guess you could get pretty confused,” says Jeff Landis.
Landis’ house sits on Wicklow Drive. Although construction affected his yard and driveway, he’s happy with the new look.
“It does good. It’s going to be a more beautiful road than the old Berckmans. It has sidewalks so when the fans come through here for Masters it will be a lot better for the fans to get to the course,” says Landis.
One of the finishing touches is to install new traffic signals to match the traffic’s new two left turn lanes.
Cassell says everything should wrap up and be completed by March 15, weather permitting.