Aiken County seeks public input on Bettis Academy Road project

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AIKEN, SC, (WJBF)– Aiken and Edgefield counties are working on the details of a Bettis Academy Road improvement project.

“This is a hot spot for traffic congestion and we expect to see more of it over the next two decades,” said Joel Duke, deputy county administrator and planning director.

City leaders say the seven-and-a-half-mile stretch of Bettis Academy Road has seen incredible growth over the past few years with no end in sight.

“We have huge amounts of what we call rooftops, a number of houses being built here up and down Bettis Academy Road. As someone who has been in the area for many decades, I have never seen such growth in such a small area,” said Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker.

All the growth slows traffic on Bettis Academy Road, which is only two lanes. Locals say a two-lane road is no longer feasible.

“I mean it’s traffic coming both ways when you’re trying to get out,” resident Eunice New said.

One of Aiken County Planning and Development’s ideas is to expand the road from two lanes to four.

“This highway has been discussed for years and I think it’s time. The timing is excellent. I think this community will benefit,” said former Edgefield resident Thomas Settles.

During the public comment session, Aiken County Planning and Development asked people to fill out a comment sheet with their ideas.

“We want to hear what people have to say because they may have details that planning officials may not know,” Bunker said.

You can post or send your comments to Aiken County Planning and Development until June 23. The project is expected to be completed in early December.

It is funded by the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.


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