Traffic patterns into and out of the Augusta National will change this year as several new parking lots open near Berckmans Road in time for the Masters Tournament.
In the past two years, the Augusta National Golf Club has added more than 6,000 parking spaces in the area across from the course. These new spots will replace Lot 1, which is on the grounds of the Augusta National and formerly accessible from Washington Road. That parking area will now be available only to the media, members and players and service vehicles, Richmond County Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell said at a news conference today.
Essentially 90 percent of it is the same as last year, Mr. Cassell said. But there are some changes in regards to pedestrian access.
All patrons will be funneled to a staging area near Heath Drive and Berckmans Road and will enter the course at Gate 6A. Those walking from the Washington Road area will now have to walk down Berckmans Road to the staging area to get inside, he said.
Also new this year, drivers will be able to access the parking lots via a new road near the Publix shopping center on Washington Road. Drivers traveling toward the Augusta National from Interstate 20 will have two opportunities to turn right at into the parking areas, once at the new Publix roadway and again at Stanley Drive, Mr. Cassell said. Those coming from Calhoun Expressway and downtown Augusta will make a left turn at Gate A3. Berckmans Road will remain open to traffic, but officials want to discourage its use to make the pedestrian crossing at Gate 6A move as swiftly as possible.
At the end of the day, we have a large volume of traffic, Mr. Cassell said. The goal is to keep it moving.
Crews will be reopening the Washington Road on-ramp to I-20, which has remained closed because of construction, from 2 to 9 p.m. throughout the week.