Originally created 11/18/02

City hires traffic consultants



Foreseeing a boom in business growth, North Augusta officials recently hired three consultants to help draft regulations on commercial access to the major thoroughfares.

Skip Grkovic, the city's director of economic and community development, said the goal is to avoid some of the mistakes Aiken and Augusta have made concerning cuts in street curbs and the number of entrances and exits at large businesses.

"We're fortunate we don't have some of the traffic problems Aiken and Augusta have," Mr. Grkovic said. "And we want to make sure we don't (in the future)."

The process of creating new regulations for the city's roads is being addressed in a North Augusta Access Management Study. Consultant firms Freilich, Leitner and Carlisle of Kansas City, Mo.; Wilbur Smith Associates of Columbia; and LDR of Columbia, Md., have been hired to help with the process.

A total of $50,000 in federal money and $12,000 in matching city funds have been approved for the study.

"It potentially can really help direct growth properly," Mr. Grkovic said.

The new regulations, he added, are meant to ease access to businesses and create smoother travel nearby.

"What this will do in the long run is allow more intense development to occur on these (major) roads," he said. "What it's really dealing with is the way cars get onto and off the property and past the property."

Mr. Grkovic said the South Carolina Department of Transportation has regulations concerning commercial access. However, "they are not very precise."

Draft results on the new regulation are expected to go before the city's planning commission by the beginning of next year.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.