Official Sunset Sidewalk Project Slated to Begin

County Breaks Ground on $5.2M in Improvements for Sunset Drive

A ceremonial groundbreaking and press conference on March 26 with County Councilmembers kicked off of the $5.2M Transportation Penny project that will bring enhancements to the area including road paving, upgraded utilities, and construction of a 5-foot-wide sidewalk.

The sidewalk plus curb and gutter work will provide safety for pedestrians using the 0.75-mile long path running from Makeway Drive, near River Drive, to Elmhurst Road, near North Main Street.

“This is the first time a pedestrian improvement has been designed for this area. The project design will provide pedestrians safe access to area neighborhoods, schools and local commerce from Broad River Road to Main Street,” said Transportation Penny Program Director Mike Maloney.

The project scope also involves a nearby water line and adds structures to improve drainage along the corridor, including improvements for driveways and a retaining wall at the culvert.

No lane closures are expected for the area, but drivers should expect a temporary detour while work is ongoing. The County will release more details on a timeframe for the detour when they become available.

The project is scheduled for completion in May 2025.

Council Greenlights Atlas Road Widening Project

County Council voted to approve the start of the Atlas Road Widening project during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 9. The scope of this Transportation Penny project for District 10 and District 11 focuses on widening the current two-lane road to a five-lane roadway, separated by a 15-foot median from Shop Road (SC 768) to Garners Ferry Road (US 76).

Pedestrian improvements between Bluff and Shop roads are also part of the project. New sidewalks will be constructed on both sides of the road. Four-foot bike lanes will provide safe passage for cyclists. Drainage installation, curb and gutter, traffic signals, and erosion control design are just a few infrastructure elements that are part of the projected $37 million budget, funded by your Transportation Penny. Once started, the construction is anticipated to take 36 months, with a target completion date in January 2027.

Vital Intersection Projects Completed

A pair of important Transportation Penny projects recently were completed. Both intersection projects are already improving traffic flow and safety for drivers.

The intersection at Garners Ferry and Harmon roads in Lower Richland was widened to provide a dedicated right turn lane onto Harmon Road and  widening along Harmon provides new turn lanes. The project scope included installation of a new traffic signal.

The second intersection at Percival and Screaming Eagle roads was completed in late October under budget and ahead of schedule. The scope of the project called for realigning Screaming Eagle Road to bring the angle of the intersection closer to 90 degrees, improving visibility

for drivers. Screaming Eagle Road was widened, with left- and right-turn lanes added to improve capacity and traffic flow. Percival Road was widened to add a new left-turn lane onto Screaming Eagle Road.

The $2.5 million completion cost came in considerably less than the initial estimated budget of $3.1 million. Both projects are excellent examples of your Penny making big change for safer road designs.

Gathering Community Input

In January, Richland County began holding community meetings in each of the 11 Council districts to present completed and upcoming transportation projects slated for the coming year. Residents were invited to attend these drop-in discussions, submit questions about the projects, and provide perspective on what community needs were most pressing.

 Councilmembers and County staff helped answer questions and spark discussion during the open forums, which were hosted by Stantec LLC, a consulting group charged with capturing community input and concerns to inform a County-wide assessment on transportation needs.

 This information is also being leveraged as content for a new “Transportation Road Map.” This will be an online resource to share answers to frequently asked questions, news and presentations outlining community needs, and video from work sessions between County Council, Transportation Penny Department leadership, and representatives of the consulting group. The goal of this work is a detailed, well-informed needs assessment of community transportation improvements that will enhance residents’ safety and quality of life and best position the County for smart growth and development in the future.

Official Sunset Sidewalk Project Slated to Begin

Driving the winding, wooded portion of Columbia’s Sunset Drive between Elmhurst Road and River Drive can make you feel like you’re suddenly driving through a scenic byway in the foothills. That peaceful drive can quickly turn into a busy byway and convenient connector for traffic traveling to and from Broad River Road, Main Street and I-277. The road is also useful for pedestrians, but narrow shoulders on both sides makes walking roadside somewhat treacherous.

Your Transportation Penny is providing a solution to this issue. Starting in March, construction of a new sidewalk will begin.

The focus of the Sunset Drive Sidewalk Project is the creation of 5-foot-wide sidewalk that will stretch for .75 miles from Makeway Drive to Elmhurst Road. Also considered a neighborhood improvement project, driveways along the walk will be enhanced, new drainage structures will be installed along the corridor and water lines will be properly relocated. There will also be a retaining wall constructed at the culvert. The budget allotted for this Penny Project is $5.2 million.

“This is the first time a pedestrian improvement has been designed for this area. The project design will provide pedestrians safe access to area neighborhoods, schools, and local commerce from Broad River Road to Main Street,” said Transportation Penny Program Director Mike Maloney.

The project is scheduled for completion in May 2025.