A major road project gets underway in Richland County this year and construction continues on another as transportation officials work to address traffic congestion and road safety on major thoroughfares in our community.
Residents are advised to expect lane closures, be mindful of workers’ safety and consider alternate routes while projects are in progress on Clemson Road in the Northeast part of the County and North Main Street, which links Upper Richland and north Columbia to the city’s downtown area.
The road improvements are funded by the County’s transportation penny program.
“This is going to be an exciting year for the County’s transportation initiatives,” said Council Chair Paul Livingston. “In addition to smaller projects, like sidewalks and resurfacing work, residents will begin seeing the major road improvements they asked for when they approved the penny program.”
Work on Clemson Road is scheduled to start in the spring.
The $23,248,126 project will expand Clemson Road from two lanes to five lanes from Chimney Ridge Drive to Old Clemson Road. The new five-lane section will include four travel lanes and a center turn lane. The project also includes the construction of shared-use paths for bicyclists and pedestrians. During construction on the project, which is scheduled to be completed in summer 2021, motorists should expect daily lane closures.
Construction continues on the North Main Street project and is expected to be finalized in January 2020.
The $62,168,463 project, which got underway in 2017, involves several improvements: repaving deteriorating roadway surfaces, relocating overhead utilities to underground, improving roadway aesthetics, installing street lighting and improving pedestrian routes and crosswalks.
“The Clemson Road and the North Main Street projects will improve the motorists’ driving experience from an efficiency and safety perspective,” said Dr. John Thompson, Director of the County’s Transportation Department. “The project will also benefit pedestrians and bicyclists, as they traverse safer pedestrian crosswalks and dedicated pedestrian routes and shared-use paths.”
The Clemson Road and North Main Street projects are the first major thoroughfare improvements undertaken by the transportation penny program, which kicked off in 2014.
“The completed projects will promote a livable community that is safe and secure for the residents of Richland County who are able to remain active and healthy in the community,” Thompson said.
To date, the transportation program has completed seven intersection improvements, one widening project (Bluff Road), one special project (Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens), one greenway project (Lincoln Tunnel), 24 sidewalks, five bikeways, 12 pedestrian improvement projects, 31 dirt road repaving projects and 170 resurfacing projects.
The Richland County Transportation Program, approved by voters in November 2012, includes projects throughout the County during a 22-year period or until $1.07 billion in sales tax revenue is collected. The program is divided into three major categories – roadways ($656,020,644), The Comet ($300,991,000) and bicycle/pedestrian/greenways ($80,888,356) – and includes such projects as road widenings, intersection improvements, sidewalks, bikeways and dirt road paving.
For more information on the County’s penny-funded transportation projects, visit www.richlandpenny.com.
Note: The Transportation Department will hold a quarterly update meeting on the North Main Street project from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Eau Claire Print Building, 3907 Ensor Ave., Columbia