Business wants changes to Jefferson Davis Highway - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Business wants changes to Jefferson Davis Highway

A stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway in front of Aiken Tech turned deadly Thursday night when Highway Patrol says Rachel Baker of North Augusta lost control of her motorcycle and was hit by two cars.
Alvin Padgett has co-owned Palmetto Tire and Brake Center for six years. He says he has seen numerous wrecks with serious injuries happen, just yards from his front door. He says he has been struggling for years to convince the state to add a cut through to the median in front of his business.
"Every business on this highway has a cut through," Padgett explained. "Or they have an egress, some way."
Padgett says that South Carolina wants to charge him thousands of dollars for the work on the state-maintained road, but the recent safety concerns have him scratching his head.
"If we would pay for the cut through, they would allow us to have it," he said. "So in my opinion, it's not really a safety issue. It's a money issue."
FOX54 talked to South Carolina Representative Roland Smith by phone to see if there were any plans to change the road.
"Aiken tech informed me about a year ago that they were having some designs done to look at that section in the general area to see what needs to be done to make it right," said Rep. Smith. "To make it safe."
Smith says the plan would use a mix of college and DOT funds, and he supports it.
"Do I think something is definitely needed for that area? Yes sir."
Padgett says the changes can't come soon enough.
"tThe main thing is the people getting hurt because they can't see them when they turn out of our business or out of Aiken Tech," Padgett said.
For the time being, everyone agrees: drive carefully.

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