A blueprint supporting Regional Population and Economic Growth
The Augusta Planning and Development Department (APDD) recently completed a 14-month transportation planning process – Transportation Vision 2040 updating the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the Augusta Regional Transportation Study (ARTS). ARTS is the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), serving Richmond and Columbia Counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield Counties in South Carolina. On September 2, 2015, local elected officials from Augusta-Richmond County, Columbia County, Blythe, Grovetown, Hephzibah in GA, City of Aiken, City of North Augusta, Burnettetown, New Ellenton and Aiken County in SC; along with the Georgia Department of Transportation and South Carolina Department of Transportation, as the ARTS Policy Committee, adopted this plan.
ARTS Transportation Vision 2040 LRTP, as a regional blueprint and policy guide for future transportation infrastructure, recommends multi-modal transportation capital improvements over the next twenty (20) years. With the relocation of National Cyber Command to Fort Gordon; UNISYS expansion in downtown Augusta; Medac Inc., headquarters moving to Aiken County; and the expected realization of Project Jackson in North Augusta, the Augusta-Richmond GA and Aiken, SC Metro Area is projected to grow 39% in population and 52% in employment opportunities over the next twenty years.
The region is estimated to receive over $1.8 billion in federal, state and local funds for transportation infrastructure over the next 20 years. Over $1.5 billion planned for transportation improvements in Richmond and Columbia Counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield Counties in South Carolina. The recommended transportation improvements include highways/roads, traffic safety and maintenance, traffic signal operations, bridge, freight and railroad, public transit, pedestrian and bike paths. During the planning process, APDD conducted a successful public participation process across the region reaching diverse groups of people, chambers of commerce, environmental, business, and non-profit organizations. A total of 1,987 persons participated in the transportation planning process.
The Augusta Planning and Development Department acknowledges the work of various departments within the City of Augusta, and participation of our regional partnerships with the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Georgia Department of Transportation, South Carolina Department of Transportation, Columbia County, Aiken County and Lower Savannah Council of Governments, the public and other agencies to develop this plan. This collaborate effort to ensure our regional transportation system provides safe and efficient mobility for all travelers, regional economic growth and enhance quality of life.