Aiken’s Whiskey-Dougherty intersection project now expected to be done by late 2019
The Whiskey Road-Dougherty Road intersection improvement project is now slated for completion by the end of 2019, and the related demolition of the shuttered StrikeHouse Bowl “should be forthcoming,” Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said Tuesday.
Closeout of the intersection project had previously been listed as May 2019. A request to raze StrikeHouse Bowl, which closed in December 2017, was submitted to the city on July 16.
That same month, the Aiken City Council approved spending $2.5 million to upgrade the well-travelled, poorly served Whiskey Road-Dougherty Road intersection. The improvements include a new turn lane on Dougherty Road and a widening of the intersection in general.
At the time of the funding approval, the roughly 220-day project – a figure Bedenbaugh mentioned Tuesday – was expected to begin in August.
Work in earnest is now expected to begin after the start of the new year.
Bedenbaugh has previously described the Whiskey-Dougherty project as a “big deal.” He has also described the funding approval as a “very big” step forward.
The StrikeHouse Bowl property is expected to become home to a new Taco Bell.
Bill Moseley – the managing member of MREA Aiken LLC, the StrikeHouse Bowl property owner, and an employee of Moseley Real Estate Advisors, the property developer – has said the Taco Bell development would be conducted in concert with the city’s Whiskey-Dougherty work.
“We’re trying to tie those two together,” Moseley said mid-July.
On Tuesday, Moseley said Bedenbaugh’s comments regarding StrikeHouse Bowl demolition were agreeable. Moseley, who was contacted via phone, offered no further comment.
A biennial traffic study, which was presented to City Council at the end of October, labelled the Whiskey and Dougherty roads intersection as exceedingly troublesome. The same traffic study flags parts of Whiskey Road for poor traffic flow – repeated congestion, essentially.
Parts of Whiskey Road on average shuttled more than 38,000 vehicles per day this year, according to the study, which was conducted by Bihl Engineering.