Traffic cameras will go public

The majority of Richmond County's traffic cameras are in the area of River Watch Parkway and Washington Road. Two are on Interstate 20.

Cameras have long been used by Richmond County traffic engineers to monitor traffic patterns.

In the last month of 2010, the sheriff's office tapped into those cameras to aid their investigations.

By next month, the public might also be able use the cameras for their own benefit.

Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell said the project is in the beta-testing stages now.

"We use them a lot Masters Week but it's just a waste to use them one week a year," Cassell said of the decision to put traffic feeds online.

The majority of the 13 cameras are in the River Watch Parkway and Washington Road area. Two are on Interstate 20.

The traffic engineering department is seeking to expand the number of cameras. A date has not been set yet.

Cassell said the department has talked about having a mapping application on its Web site where a user can click on each camera and watch a live feed from that area.

He said he hopes this will help drivers plan their routes according to traffic levels at the time they hit the road -- especially for locals trying to navigate during the Masters.

"If you're getting ready to leave, you can look and see what Washington Road looks like," he said. "Maybe then you'll want to go River Watch Parkway or vice-versa."

Traffic engineers had originally targeted a February debut. However, engineers are now looking at March 1, but warned more delays are possible.

Cassell said the goal is to have everything ready to go for the Masters Tournament.

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