North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- An access road in North Augusta has been rerouted and some drivers are not happy about it.
The access road behind the Burger King on the corner of Highway 25 and Austin Graybill Road has been long used as a safer area to make a left turn onto the highway.
Now the developer has removed that option by making it a right turn only. The lack of a traffic light at Market Plaza has some concerned that this change will make driving in the area more dangerous.
Tina Rieke of Edgefield said there is no safe way to turn left out of that shopping center. She said many people have started making illegal U-turns on Austin Graybill to get to the light and that it is not safe.
“I think it’s very dangerous. I personally, before I did start taking that left there on Austin Graybill to get back on 25, I used to make that left to try and get out on 25. And I can honestly tell you that a couple of times I have been very close to getting into an accident,” explained Rieke.
NewsChannel 6 reached out to South Carolina Department of Transportation who said:
“The developer made some access changes to the private roads within the development and how these roads access the state highway system. The new access points are now open, and should alleviate the concerns raised in the (media) inquiry. While Market Plaza Dr. was converted to right-in/right-out access at Austin Graybill Road., two new roads were constructed as part of the development to have full access onto Austin Graybill. The new roads, Torey Pine Dr. Pine Drive and Town Center Drive, are now open.”
Many are blaming the city of North Augusta for the new traffic pattern, but they said the decision is out of their hands.
In a Facebook post, North Augusta Mayor Briton Williams said:
“As I said during the Council Study Session last night (replay of what I said can be watched on our City FB page)this was not done by the city…As Mayor, I apologize for the inconvenience over the weekend due to the SCDOT project. However, we have put a procedure in place in the future to inform citizens in advance of a project if we are told by SCDOT – unfortunately that is not always the case.”