Originally created 05/13/02

Work to be finished today



AIKEN - The expansion of Pine Log Road from two to four lanes will be completed today, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

The construction, which began in 1999, will ease congestion greatly on the heavily traveled state road, said Jeff Parker, the department's resident engineer.

"(It) was bad," Mr. Parker said.

The road will be four lanes wide from Whiskey Road to U.S. Highway 78 and will have a turning lane.

In 1992, about 20,900 vehicles traveled the road daily, according to DOT traffic counts. DOT projections that the road would see a 50 percent increase in traffic by 2012, or 29,300 vehicles daily, led to Pine Log's widening, Mr. Parker said.

The project cost $6.1 million and was paid for with state and federal money, Mr. Parker added. It was supposed to be complete last July.

Work was delayed because 30,000 feet of stormwater drainage pipe had to be installed.

In other DOT work, the extension of the Aiken Bypass, South Carolina Highway 118, is on schedule for completion in October 2003. The extension starts at U.S. Highway 1 and will run about two miles to Pine Log Road at U.S. 78. After completion of that leg, Aiken's bypass will be finished.

Traffic counts estimate that the road will have to accommodate 26,600 vehicles daily by 2015, more than double the 12,400 vehicles that traveled the road in 1993, according to DOT counts.

The extension will cost an estimated $7.5 million.

Reach Josh Gelinas at (803) 279-6895 or josh.gelinas@augustachronicle.com.