SCDOT to present Hitchcock widening designs subcommittee
The S.C. Subcommittee of the Augusta Regional Transportation Study will revisit conceptual designs to widen Hitchcock Parkway on Thursday.
The meeting is open to the public, and will begin at 4 p.m. in the old Aiken County Government Council Chambers at 736 Richland Ave. W.
Kevin Gantt, program manager with the S.C. Department of Transportation, said they will approach the subcommittee with edited conceptual designs for comment, and then take those comments to the Augusta Regional Transportation Study, or ARTS, meeting.
Current conceptual plans show SCDOT has narrowed the width of the 5- to 6-mile route, added in separate multi-use paths with sidewalks and 14-foot shared-use lanes. SCDOT has also reduced the width of the center median, added retaining walls in certain areas and reduced the right-of-way impact by 47 percent.
Aiken City Council also voted last year to keep the speed limit at 45 mph throughout the entire corridor.
Since December, SCDOT consultants have shifted away from widening lines to Hitchcock Woods to minimizing any impact to that resource, according to Gantt.
Tonight, Council will also consider two resolutions for the parkway, which include requesting SCDOT make modifications to the widening plans by removing sidewalks and shrinking the median width, as well as a request to Aiken County Council to commit Capital Project Sales Tax funds for the project.
Gantt said whether Council makes those decisions, they will still have to seek approval from ARTS to go ahead with those modifications.
If SCDOT's plans go through ARTS, SCDOT will still have to obtain a municipal agreement from the City of Aiken to do the work, Gantt said
SCDOT's current estimated cost of widening Hitchcock Parkway with contingencies is $34.6 million.
Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @MaayanSchechter.