Traffic watchers say worst is over

Thursday, April 09, 2009
By Adam Folk
Staff Writer

Traffic officials said Wednesday that they think the most difficult Masters Week challenges are behind them and that getting to and from the tournament should be smooth today.

After big kinks were worked out Monday and Tuesday, coming days will be easier to manage, Augusta-Richmond County Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell said.

During the first two days, there were long lines into parking areas off Washington Road as drivers adjusted to a new route that had them entering at Stanley Drive or a side road near Publix.

Though Wednesday went very well, it wasn't without its problems. Just as the morning rush began, a tractor-trailer stalled on Interstate 20 and had to be towed to the side. The obstruction was cleared in about 40 minutes, but it still created a traffic jam on I-20 that stretched from the Washington Road exit to the Martintown Road exit in North Augusta. Wednesday's average times to Augusta National never reached the 71-minute high that occurred near Berckmans Road earlier this week. During the peak hours, between 8 and 10 a.m., travel times mostly averaged more than 20 minutes -- with Washington Road reaching a high of 54 minutes.

Motorists are still advised to travel to the tournament via Martintown Road in North Augusta or River Watch Parkway.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or