Sen. Lindsey Graham seeking $8M for traffic congestion on Whiskey Road

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AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A South Carolina state lawmaker is looking into traffic issues in the City of Aiken.

Aiken is growing and with growth comes more traffic. Rachel Clough De Videla knows that personally.

“Over the last four years, it was always busy. Now it’s getting busier and busier,” she told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk.

Aiken city leaders came up with a plan in order to relieve some of the traffic problems happening on Whiskey Road with the Powderhouse Connector.

“What it would do is create an alternate route, connecting a Whiskey Road to Pine Log Road,” Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said.

“I’ve heard that for several years. It’s always sort of been talked about, I haven’t heard of anything moving forward,” Clough De Videla added.

The plan was conceived in 2006 would reduce the traffic flow in the area by as much as 23 percent.

“It would have a profound impact on traffic along the corridor,” Bedenbaugh added.

The traffic woes of Aiken have reached Washington where Senator Lindsey Graham wants to earmark $8 million dollars for the project.

“Think it would be outstanding. If we could widen these roads and make it a little bit better, I think it would alleviate a lot of the problems for those that are trying to get downtown, we can avoid that section of Whiskey where the big-box shopping is,” Clough De Videla shared.

Although President Biden’s infrastructure bill was voted down recently, it doesn’t affect that $8 million. “Senators and congressmen can request if particular projects get funded via appropriations. This is a project that is up for consideration for that,” Bedenbaugh added.

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The ball got rolling thanks to an email sent to the city. “The Senator sent an email out several months ago saying that they were participating in these types of funding and if we have projects to submit them to his office, so that is what we did,” he recalled.

Meanwhile, it will take some time before we see any movement. The request must go through the Senate Appropriations Committee and then be voted on by the Senate.

The project’s total projected cost is $37 million dollars. The city has committed $7 million to the project.

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