How can you make the best of the morning rush?

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With seemingly endless road construction projects and an ever-increasing number of motorists going between Columbia and Richmond counties, four reporters with The Augusta Chronicle set out during Thursday morning's rush hour to examine some popular routes. Each left at about 8 a.m. from the Evans Wal-Mart on Washington Road and drove to the Circle K convenience store at 15th Street and Laney-Walker Boulevard, across from Medical College of Georgia. Each kept track of the distance traveled, the time it took to make the trip and the number of traffic signals encountered on the way.

ROUTE: Washington Road to Flowing Wells Road, which becomes Wheeler Road, to Walton Way Extension to Walton Way to 15th Street

MILES: 12.7

TRAVEL TIME: 31 minutes

TRAFFIC SIGNALS: 39

NOTES: Traffic came to a brief standstill at Martinez Elementary School as some motorists allowed others to exit the school. Two other school zones on Walton Way slowed motorists to 25 mph. Motorists traveling this route earlier than 8 a.m. might encounter school zones at Augusta Preparatory Day School and the Academy of Richmond County.


ROUTE: Washington Road to Davis Road, which becomes Walton Way Extension, to Walton Way to 15th Street

DISTANCE: 11.9 miles

TRAVEL TIME: 31 minutes

TRAFFIC SIGNALS: 34

NOTES: Traffic backed up briefly at the traffic signals at Walton Way Extension and Walton Way and by Langford Middle School. The speed limit slowed to 25 mph at Tubman Middle School. There were no traffic slowdowns at Episcopal Day School, Augusta State University or the Academy of Richmond County. The most challenging aspect of the commute was obeying the 35-mph speed limit on the newly widened Davis Road.


ROUTE: Washington Road to Old Evans Road to Old Petersburg Road, which becomes River Watch Parkway, to 15th Street

DISTANCE: 12.7 miles

TRAVEL TIME: 25 minutes

TRAFFIC SIGNALS: 20

NOTES: It was slow going on two-lane roads Old Evans and Old Petersburg. Traffic flowed steady on River Watch until the intersection at Interstate 20. Three lanes under the overpass are squeezed into two because of construction. No other delays were encountered from River Watch to 15th Street.


ROUTE: Washington Road to Calhoun Expressway to 15th Street

DISTANCE: 11.9 miles

TRAVEL TIME: 23 minutes

TRAFFIC SIGNALS: 31

NOTES: Traffic along Washington Road to the Bobby Jones Expressway intersection was relatively light and moved smoothly. Traffic became a little more condensed approaching Furys Ferry Road. Traffic moved slower through the closely spaced traffic signals from Warren Road to Boy Scout Road, though it moved smoothly through a small construction zone under the Interstate 20 overpass. Traffic lightened up and moved briskly from Bartram Road down Calhoun Expressway to 15th Street. Traffic signals and heavier traffic made for slow moving on 15th Street.

-- Compiled by Staff Writers Donnie Fetter, Elizabeth Adams, Betsy Gilliland and Valerie Rowell


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