South Carolina State Senator Tom Young, Mayor Rick Osbon, and Aiken City Council members announced securing funding for the $37 million Powderhouse Connector project. The announcement occurred at a press conference held at Newberry Hall in Aiken on September 15, 2022. The project, first developed in 2006, is projected to reduce traffic on Whiskey Road by as much as 24 percent.
The City of Aiken presented the project to the State Infrastructure Bank on September 8, 2022, and was awarded $21.3 million in state funding. This funding, combined with additional funding from the City, County, and Federal governments, made this critical infrastructure improvement possible. The funding sources include a local contribution of $8.125 million from Capital Project Sales Tax revenue and other City funds, $621,000 from the Aiken County Transportation Committee, and $8 million from the United States Department of Transportation.
The construction is expected to commence mid-year 2023 and will be completed in two phases. The first phase will connect South Centennial Avenue, off of Corporate Parkway, to Whiskey Road at East Gate Drive. The second phase will connect Powderhouse Road with Whiskey Road at East Gate Drive.
In attendance were SC State Senator Tom Young and some members of the City Council. Provided below are some of their quotes.
Council Member Gail Diggs District 1
“Finally, we are moving forward to the solution of traffic congestion on Whiskey road. This is going to make a huge difference.”
Council Member Lessie Price District 2
“The City Council members are thankful to our Senator Tom Young, our Mayor and City Manager, and staff for the work that they’re doing. This means a lot to our town, and we’ll see that growth flowing within the next five years.”
Council Member Kay Brohl District 3
“This plan began when I was on the planning commission 20 years ago, and it takes so long to get all the different pieces of land and the funding. And I am so happy with what’s come through to help alleviate all the traffic on Whiskey Road.”
Council Member Ed Girardeau – District 4
“I look ahead to the Powerhouse Connector, which will be significant to alleging traffic congestion and making a great bridge from the south to the east.”
Council Member Andrea Neira Gregory District 5
“Being a member of the Aiken, Augusta Regional Transportation Commission also has provided me the opportunity to really see the project into fruition. I’m honored to serve my constituents and to get this project down the road and going.”
Council Member Ed Woltz District 6
“This will be an excellent opportunity for Aiken to get traffic off of Whiskey road and help the whole City move better throughout the City.”
Mayor Rick Osbon
“The essential news for Aiken citizens is that it offers relief to an estimated 18 to 24% of traffic on our most congested highway. And it will be a game changer for everyone who lives or travels in that area.”
SC State Senator Tom Young
“Our Aiken County Legislative Delegation has worked tirelessly together on this. And we’re so happy with the final product that this road will finally be funded and help alleviate traffic on Whiskey Road.”
City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh
“This was a team effort through the hard work of our elected officials and staff. Senator Graham’s office was also very helpful in advocating for this extra funding. This project has truly been an inter-governmental effort and now the real work begins.”
Assistant City Manager
City of Aiken