Whiskey lights to be fixed changed

Lights are changing on Whiskey Road.

City of Aiken Manager Roger LeDuc said workers with the South Carolina Department of Transportation are due in Aiken any day to retime the traffic signals on Whiskey Road after a study it conducted at the behest of Rep. Tom Young showed overall efficiency was lacking at each intersection.

Young said Friday that requesting the study was one of the first things he did after he was sworn in to office earlier this year because traffic flow is a “significant concern.”

SCDOT’s reviews consisted of morning, midday and afternoon vehicular turning movement counts, observations of any backups or delays and a general observation of traffic patterns.

“(Once the changes are implemented in the District 1 Engineering office) staff will be present to fine tune the traffic signal timings on the street to ensure appropriate signal operation is in effect,” reads the letter Young received from the SCDOT.

Money to pay for the work is coming out of SCDOT’s pocket, but both LeDuc and the department caution it is not a cure-all.

“It’s going to help, but it’s not going to help all that much,” LeDuc said.

“Many intersections operate over the capacity of the roadway and delays and queues will still occur at these locations during peak traffic times,” the letter reads.

Young said he is satisfied with SCDOT’s response at this point but will continue to monitor the situation and listen to constituent feedback.

What may help more is a “smart signal system,” the installation of which LeDuc hopes will get under way later this year.

The smart signal system project will be funded by a piece of the federal stimulus bill. The South Carolina subcommittee of the Augusta Regional Transportation Study decided earlier this month that Aiken and the City of North Augusta will split in half roughly $2.9 million slated for road improvements.

LeDuc said at the time the smart signal system will really help improve congestion on Whiskey Road.

Aiken Standard

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