May 17—Aiken County has heard its constituents loud and clear: Whiskey Road needs some work.
The bustling road is currently being studied by the county via a feasibility study, particularly the 4.5-mile section from Powderhouse to Eagle roads. Issues such as driver, cyclist and pedestrian safety are being billed as high-priority, along with general traffic congestion.
The county, in seeking public comment, held a drop-in meeting at Chukker Creek Elementary on Monday night. Residents who stopped by viewed displays and handouts, while also being able to discuss specifics of the study with the project team.
From 2017 to 2019, there were 140 vehicle crashes on Whiskey Road, according to a display at the meeting, with 71% of those occurring at intersections.
Joel Duke, Aiken County director of planning and development, said the team was looking for public input and to get anecdotal information.
Those who attended the input session could drop a comment in a comment box, while anyone can mail or email comments to Aiken County Planning and Development at 1930 University Parkway, Suite 2800, Aiken, S.C. 29801 or Tplanning@aikencountysc.gov.
Duke acknowledged that Whiskey Road is a hot topic in the area.
"This is a continuation of a number of projects that have taken place in the past to identify issues along Whiskey Road and identify projects for funding," he said. "The last study was completed in 2017. This focuses more on the unincorporated areas south of Powderhouse Road all the way down to New Ellenton."
Mike Kellems attended the meeting and said he'd like to see a focus on making drainage and traffic flow better, besides safety all together. Kellems had a unique perspective, as he's with the New Ellenton Fire Department.
"Today, the people I've spoken with, (they'd like to do) something around Chime Bell Church Road and maybe at Crosby Road," Kellems said. "We get a lot of accidents there, being with the fire department."
Kellems, who is also running for Aiken County Council District 2, said the new traffic light coming at Eagle and Whiskey roads will help, as well.
Public comments will be accepted until June 16. The study is expected to be completed by summer 2023.
Aiken County will hold another public information meeting Monday, May 23, for a Bettis Academy Road Feasibility Study. The meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Byrd Elementary School, 1225 Weldon Way in Graniteville.
For more information about either study, residents can call LJ Peterson at 803-642-1520 or email Tplanning@aikencountysc.gov.