Aiken residents give input on improvements they want to see on Whiskey Road

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)- Tens of thousands of car and trucks travel on Whiskey Road every day, but many people say the corridor needs improvement.

“The number one problem with that corridor is safety,” said transportation consultant Mike Rutkowski. “You have 600 accidents that have happened in three years. That’s unbelievable.”

For about a year, teams of experts and citizens have been working together on a traffic study to figure out how to make the road better.

The study costs nearly $350,000 according to Aiken County’s planning and development director, Stephen Strohminger. But the federal government put up 80 percent of that, he said.

“We started the study back in the Fall, and we’ve had at least one round, already had a public [meeting] we had about 65-70 people show up at,” Strohminger said. “So this is the next step where we’re kind of growing the designs and the plans.”

The workshop included a short presentation on the project and lots of individual input. Many people in Aiken have participated in the study. Nearly 500 people took an online survey. About 70 percent of respondents said they feel Whiskey Road is unsafe.

“It gets very crowded,” said Aiken resident Lynne Dos Santos.

Ditches along parts of the road are a big concern.

“On the sides of the road, they have those ditches, that if somebody should cut you have and you have to move you’d fall into a, almost a six foot ditch,” Dos Santos said. “So it’s very dangerous. So I’m hoping that will be improved.”

Over the next two days, people in focus groups will be able to give input on what they want to see on Whiskey Rd. You can learn more or make a suggestion here.

The final study is supposed to wrap up early this Summer so the experts can can give an estimate of what the project would cost by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

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