Area residents are invited to a public drop-in session to share comments and ask questions pertaining to the Edgefield Highway Corridor Planning Study on Thursday.


From 4 to 7 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, located at 1127 Bethel Church Road, representatives from consulting firm DRMP Inc. will give brief presentations describing the purpose of the meeting, background information about S.C.-19 N., the study process and potential improvement alternatives.


County and City of Aiken staff will also be on hand to answer questions.


In the fall, residents had the opportunity to participate in a survey, and Aiken County Planning and Development Director Stephen Strohminger said many comments had to do with safety and aesthetics along that corridor.


The study is split into three sections – urban from Hampton Avenue to University Parkway; rural neighborhood from University Parkway to I-20; and rural from I-20 to the Edgefield County line.


Along the corridor, issues with safety include high accident rates, heavy congestion, speed and the need for additional bike and pedestrian facilities. As far as aesthetics, consultants noted a need for a “gateway” into Aiken, roadway landscaping, development near the interstate and proper maintenance and upkeep.


“After a 30 day or so comment period, we will compile the comments and get back with the steering committee and make recommendations as to what type of road improvements are needed based on safety and traffic numbers,” Strohminger said. “This is just a kind of pre-get ready to see what folks would like.”


The next step for the final design will be presented, and then potentially adopted, by the S.C. Augusta Regional Transportation Study Subcommittee.


All materials on the study are available at www.aikencountysc.gov and www.cityofaikensc.gov.


Individuals who need special assistance should call the Aiken County Planning and Development Department at 803-642-1520.


Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @MaayanSchechter.