Traffic woes about to get worse

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Masters Week always brings bumper-busting traffic to Augusta, but this year the backups will arrive a month early. In the rush to complete work on traffic signals before the annual golf tournament, crews will reduce portions of westbound Washington Road to one lane between Berckmans and Pleasant Home roads next week.

For several months, crews have stayed on the shoulder of the road as they worked on a project to improve the traffic signals, according to Mike Keene, the Augusta area engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation. That will change soon, when they move onto Washington Road to replace the signals.

"There may be some long lane closures because when they get started, they have to go from pole to pole latching them on there," Mr. Keene said.

The traffic woes are nothing new for commuters on Washington Road, who have been experiencing regular traffic backups for weeks.

This has happened, in part, because the copper wiring that links the lights along the Washington Road corridor was severed so it could be replaced with new fiber-optic cables, Mr. Keene said.

Each traffic signal uses a computer to set fixed times for red and green lights, depending on the time of day. They are linked together, according to Mr. Keene, so that all of the timings are coordinated. When they are cut it can cause congestion.

"The timing may be off on them just a little bit," he said. "That will cause some delays because one light is expecting the next one to come on at a certain time. Well, if that time's off by four or five seconds even, that means four or five seconds that the cars are backing up at the next light before it cuts on."

Mr. Keene said the lights will be back to normal once the project is complete.

The lane closures will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day in the westbound lanes of Washington Road. Work will resume after 6 p.m. and continue through the night.

As part of its contract, Beams Contracting must complete the work by March 31 or face heavy financial penalties, Mr. Keene said.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (27) Add comment
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redrover420usa
0
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redrover420usa 02/26/09 - 03:08 am
0
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Thank God i just moved from

Thank God i just moved from that area!

brianw
1
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brianw 02/26/09 - 03:25 am
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1. Milton Ruben's egg is on

1. Milton Ruben's egg is on my nerves! 2. Berckmen's to Pleasant Home is a huge tract of Washington Road to go down to one lane. Note to self: stay the heck away from Washington Road.

jajo1012
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jajo1012 02/26/09 - 05:22 am
0
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he's got a point- that damn

he's got a point- that damn milton ruben egg is such a nuisance, augusta chronicle. could you please keep the trashy advertisers from ruining our experience on your webpage? before long you'll wish your website saw as much traffic as washington road, because i for one am getting sick of it.

Just My Opinion
7585
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Just My Opinion 02/26/09 - 05:34 am
0
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Ha! I thought I was the only

Ha! I thought I was the only one that was ticked off by that stupid Milton Ruben egg! You know, the only problem with that is that the morons that do the advertising see our complaining and they turn it around to "Well, ANY attention is good attention!". But what they don't realize is that we think that if Milton Ruben is so inconsiderate to plaster that stupid, obnoxious, blocking egg in front of us, then he doesn't care about what kind of service we get...from the paper or his dealership!

WISE-OLE-OWL
1
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WISE-OLE-OWL 02/26/09 - 05:48 am
0
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Sic Colonel Sanders on the

Sic Colonel Sanders on the hen that laid the Milton Ruben egg!!

Grateful Augustan
0
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Grateful Augustan 02/26/09 - 06:40 am
0
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Yikes ! I think I fertilized

Yikes ! I think I fertilized that egg !

Fishboy
29
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Fishboy 02/26/09 - 07:16 am
0
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That egg is why you get to

That egg is why you get to read the paper online for free, dingbats...

ColCo
1197
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ColCo 02/26/09 - 07:19 am
0
0
The egg was ok for the first

The egg was ok for the first day or two, but by now, most everyone knows Uncle Milty owns the Toyota store.

patriciathomas
44
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patriciathomas 02/26/09 - 07:31 am
0
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The little red button on the

The little red button on the lower right corner of the ad works just fine. If you expect the egg on every page, you can hit the close button is lest than a second. It's become a habit I don't even notice anymore. I don't have too much trouble avoiding the construction on Washington Rd. My errands in that area do take longer than if there was no construction, though.

Dixieman
23680
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Dixieman 02/26/09 - 07:37 am
0
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Need police at

Need police at Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts to arrest the idiots making sharp U-turns to get on I-20 Westbound so they can save 4 minutes instead of following detour signs. Every day there are several near-collisions right there. Police do nothing.

belle
333
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belle 02/26/09 - 07:44 am
0
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This is insane! The least
Unpublished

This is insane! The least they could do would be to wait until I-20 access is open in all directions at Washington Rd before beginning this! This is going to add more time to my commute home which has already had 10 minutes added to it due to the detour!

politicallyNcorrect1
0
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politicallyNcorrect1 02/26/09 - 08:27 am
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To the Egg Complainers: It's

To the Egg Complainers: It's ad's like that that allow you to enjoy the online Chronicle FOR FREE. If they did not have income from such ad's? You would have to pay for the online service or it would be discontinued. You might want you send M. Ruben a thank you card for giving you a free venue to complain:)

politicallyNcorrect1
0
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politicallyNcorrect1 02/26/09 - 08:34 am
0
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harryp...Someone must have

harryp...Someone must have forgot to tell you that if you live in Augusta No One cares what you think. the ONLY ones they care about are the vistors that come here for the Master's. Have you noticed how right before the tournament they spruce everything up & pick up the trash & as soon as it's over those same sprucer's take a vacation till next year...They have a great job...they only pick up the trash one week out of 52.

politicallyNcorrect1
0
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politicallyNcorrect1 02/26/09 - 08:42 am
0
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PS: Sometime in our future

PS: Sometime in our future The Chronicle will start charging for the online version. I believe a lot of regulars would pay because they could not live without a media to vent their I'm better than you lifestyle...So enjoy while you can:)

humbleopinion
1
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humbleopinion 02/26/09 - 09:26 am
0
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I'm surprised Dixieman didn't

I'm surprised Dixieman didn't say that everyone who makes the U-turns to get on I-20 is a damn yankee, as we all know that locals NEVER do anything wrong.

disssman
6
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disssman 02/26/09 - 09:31 am
0
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PNC I doub't they will

PNC I doub't they will charge, although they really want to. I think they are afraid of a wildcat site coming out and taking the few people who visit their site. BTW I am glad that someone else sees that augusta residents aren't the main focus of our little darlings in the crystal palace. But it will remain ststus quo until we start electing people who aren't mesmerized by free Masters tickets.

dashiel
177
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dashiel 02/26/09 - 09:43 am
0
0
humble, I don't have a dog in

humble, I don't have a dog in the regionalism fight, but Dixieman certainly has a valid point. Speaking as a frequent ricochet at this spot, I would also be grateful if law-abiding motorists would select their turn lane BEFORE they enter Washington Road. I've already seen my life flash before my eyes twice. The viewing does not improve with repetition.

curly123053
7329
Points
curly123053 02/26/09 - 11:09 am
0
0
I hope the AC keeps the

I hope the AC keeps the online website free. I have been in Houston being the caretaker for my brother who is undergoing treatment for inoperable cancer for several weeks now. The CSRA doctors told us there was nothing they could do for him, but here they are at least trying at MD Anderson. Having the online Chronicle helps me keep in touch with "home" while here and to keep abreast of all the local "gossip" in this forum....as far as the traffic goes I am never going to complain about Aiken/Augusta traffic again after having to deal with the traffic here in Houston, even though they have the BEST big city freeway system I have ever seen. Their traffic can be as thick as pea soup but still keep moving, unlike Atlanta or Augusta. It is hard to explain but Atlanta and Augusta DOT folks could learn a lot coming here to observe, but I know they won't......when I am back home I will be glad my job takes me down Gordon Hwy instead of anywhere near Washington Rd or Bobby Jones.

curly123053
7329
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curly123053 02/26/09 - 11:21 am
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0
As far as that egg is

As far as that egg is concerned, we got to find a way to scramble it....LOL

csracitizen
0
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csracitizen 02/26/09 - 11:47 am
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All of you people need some

All of you people need some serious meds. You are all so unhappy with your life and take it out on everyone else. Your pessimistic spirit and rudeness to each other is sickening.
There should be a charge for people like you to view content on the site since clearly you need to vent more than others so you can feel like you have power.

MissNea1908
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MissNea1908 02/26/09 - 12:09 pm
0
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I thought this article was

I thought this article was about traffic on Washington Rd not a stupid ad. Thats why this community ( I dare not say city ) is so far behind. Come on Augusta.

sprintman
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sprintman 02/26/09 - 01:17 pm
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what are you talking about.

what are you talking about. The article is about traffic on washington rd. Can't you read

justthefacts
36210
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justthefacts 02/26/09 - 03:02 pm
0
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Please, just get it straight

Please, just get it straight before I get there for the Tourney. Only six more weeks!!

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
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WorriedAboutOurFuture 02/26/09 - 04:22 pm
0
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The thing that I have found

The thing that I have found the most aggravating is the sheer stupidity of messing up virtually all roads going toward and away from town at the same time. It's the same for the mess with the Bobby Jones. I've had days where it was virtuallly impossible to get to or home from work, and none of these Mensa engineers thought it might be a good idea to post signs of a closed road before the actual spot where it was closed. Nothing like traveling from East I-20 to Wrightsboro Road in order to get to Fury's Ferry Road. I suppose we should be glad they're doing something; I just hope we survive the cure.

MissNea1908
0
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MissNea1908 02/26/09 - 05:01 pm
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Sprintman according to the

Sprintman according to the comments left on this page have nothing to do with the article so my question to you is CAN YOU READ!!!!!

imdstuf
12
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imdstuf 02/26/09 - 05:43 pm
0
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What was really dumb was

What was really dumb was taking Marks Church Road going into Wheeler Road and for no reason getting shortening the left turn lane, getting rid of the right turn lane and making the two straight lanes one lane....then after that got traffic really backed up, they merged the parell exit lane from bobby jones into this already backed up mess. Real Men of Genius.

As It Is
2
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As It Is 02/26/09 - 08:33 pm
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Dixieman, actually the RCSO

Dixieman, actually the RCSO traffic division and motorcycle officers have written a good many tickets for those idiots making an illegal u-turn across a double yellow line at Starbucks in order to save 2 minutes by following the laws. Actually, now the way you have to enter I-20 you would be better off to follow the detour and it may just allow you to keep the $300.00 in your pocket. There are only so many deputies and so many more idiots, don't blame the cops for the actions of the thoughtless. The real question should be why aren't they and why haven't thy been working from 8pm until 6am each day on these roadways as they do in Atlanta. Closing a lane on Washington Road during they day does nothing but increase the wrecks in the area, increase our insurance rates, hurt local business owners, make people late for work and show that this area has major lack of planning when approving road work.

tchnga
0
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tchnga 02/26/09 - 09:24 pm
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sheesh....glad I don't go

sheesh....glad I don't go there much

TrukinRanger
1827
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TrukinRanger 02/26/09 - 09:57 pm
0
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The day the Chronicle starts
Unpublished

The day the Chronicle starts charging for the online version will be the day people stop coming to it.

mooseye
365
Points
mooseye 02/27/09 - 10:24 pm
0
0
I was just talking with a

I was just talking with a friend of mine who is a new city employee. He advises me that everything they do where he works is assbackwards. He says they seem to go out of their way to do things the hard way. I suggested job security as the possible rationale.

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