AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation held their fifth public meeting on the Hitchcock Parkway Corridor Improvement project in Aiken on Aug. 30. The two lane parkway sees 19,000 people every day in traffic. The purpose of the project is to improve 4.8 miles of road from Jefferson Davis Highway to Silver Bluff Road, and the DOT says it will cost about $15 million once it is finished.
As Aiken continues to grow, some community members say this is the perfect first step in improvements. "This is not build it and they will come. We are here," said Lori Comshaw. "Having the two lane,the resurfacing and the turn lanes is really going to help the flow of traffic, especially on the west side." The project plans to add traffic lights, a multiuse path and turning lanes along the parkway. This is something that some community members say is a waste of resources. Jim Kelley said, ""They're wasting these young peoples time, and they're wasting our tax money working on minor problems." Kelley said the real problems are on Whiskey Road, and that these plans will not really improve much. But Comshaw disagrees. She said, "I think this is a great start to a great plan. It will be received positively, it will improve the quality of life, and younger families will want to come and live here."
SC DOT says that if everything continues to move forward, construction will be underway in the summer of 2020. However, officials said as the community continues to grow, the roadway will need expansion.