Augusta getting full traffic control center next year

AUGUSTA (WJBF) — The holiday break is right around the corner which means the headaches from traffic jams are already here.

The Augusta Traffic Engineering Division is keeping an eye out on traffic conditions though.

“You have a lot of traffic, not enough lanes, but we do kind of play around with the traffic signal timing, which we use our holiday timing schedule,” traffic engineer Ron Lampkin said.

The Traffic Engineering Division doesn’t have a full traffic control center, but it does have modern technology to keep things running smoothly.

“On a normal schedule, say we run about 30 second timing on a green light, a holiday schedule you’ll have a little bit more cars so we may give you a little more time, say an extra 15 seconds,” Lampkin said.

The most congested areas are Wrightsboro Road and Washington Road.

The part of Wrightsboro near the Augusta Mall can be a mess, but that area does have an adaptive traffic system trying to correct it.

“That can go in and say okay, yesterday at 6 o’clock we had about 300 cars come through here. It’s been that way for the last two days, so it can adjust accordingly,” Lampkin said.

The Traffic Engineering Division will hopefully have a full traffic control center soon as it will be moving into the old AT&T building on Walker Street.

“We want to get to a point where we have it manned 24 hours. In the beginning, we’ll have somewhere in there during rush hour,” Lampkin said.

But for now, if you want to avoid the long lines of cars in Augusta, Ron Lampkin has some shortcuts for you.

“Gordon Highway is always a good, steady flow of traffic. Riverwatch is a better alternative than Washington Road this time of year,” Lampkin said.

The new Augusta traffic control center should be ready by the end of 2017.

Another tip for holiday travel, download the smartphone app, Waze.

It’s a GPS navigation app, like Apple Maps or Google Maps, but it gives you real-time traffic updates that other users and yourself can add to the program.

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