NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – North Augusta city leaders are looking at their options for building up the gateway into the state.
A Waffle House and a few gas stations is all you’ll find at Exit 1, but four miles up the road it’s a totally different story.
Dozens of fast food chains, gas stations, grocery stores and even a new hotel.
“Compared to Exit 1, Exit 5 has really taken off. There’s not much going on at Exit 1?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.
“Not it’s all coming out here,” said North Augusta resident Roy Huff.
“Exit 5 has passed Exit 1 if you ask me, even though Martintown Road is like that hub of North Augusta, I think.” Another resident told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
City leaders realize the Interstate 20 gateway into the city is underdeveloped.
“We are trying to make sure that the change, at that interchange, is conducive to development.” North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit said.
The potential to buildup the area will be a challenge with the widening of the I-20 bridge that could start by 2019.
“You can’t expect somebody to build something if they can’t get into it,” Pettit said.
“But I mean you would definitely like to see something going on?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.
“Oh yea, yea.” Huff said.
With plenty of empty plots of land everywhere, people have big ideas for the area.
“Any ideas? Maybe hotels? Restaurants, something like this?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.
“I would like a lot more motels out here,” said Huff.
“Definitely more restaurants and the hotels too because a lot of the activity, like the Peach Jam, people have to go across the water to stay in the hotels there.” Another resident said. “We would like to try to keep that here in North Augusta. That would be good.”
About 60,000 people use the I-20 bridge to cross into either Georgia or South Carolina.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.