Richland County’s North Main Street Widening Set for Ribbon Cutting

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.

Richland County, Transportation Penny Advisory Committee to Present the State of the Penny Address

Richland County will bring together the County’s Transportation Penny Advisory Committee (TPAC), the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and The Comet for a joint 2023 State of the Penny Address. The public is invited to the live event at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Richland County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. Space is limited.

The County’s Transportation Penny Tax program began in 2012, when residents voted to approve a 1 percent sales tax to fund much-needed transportation projects.

The Nov. 2 address will feature a brief history of the Penny program and highlight current and completed projects, as well as the positive impact the $1.07 billion generated by the program has had on roadways, pedestrian improvements, greenways and public transportation since its inception.

TPAC Chairman John Black will provide opening remarks. Guests also will hear from local and state officials about the significance of the Transportation Penny and the impact the investment by taxpaying residents has had on the quality of life in Richland County.

Attendees will be able to submit questions to be answered as time permits. Questions may be submitted online in advance and during the event at stateofthepenny@richlandcountysc.gov.

The State of the Penny address also will be streamed live on the Richland County YouTube channel. For more information, follow Richland County Transportation Penny on Facebook. To learn more about the Transportation Penny program, visit www.richlandpenny.com.

Richland County to Begin Alpine Road Sidewalk and Road Resurfacing Project

Richland County will announce plans to begin an extensive $4.3 million Transportation Penny project to build a sidewalk along Alpine Road that will connect S.C. Highway 12 (Percival Road) with U.S. Highway 1 (Two Notch Road). The project is slated for completion in August 2024.

The new sidewalk will cover more than two miles, making walking to local schools and businesses between Alpine and Two Notch roads safer and easier for pedestrians in Northeast Richland. The scope of the project also covers resurfacing of Alpine Road, from Percival to Two Notch. 

A celebratory groundbreaking is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. The County will announce additional event details closer to the date.

The sidewalk and road resurfacing comprise one of the latest Transportation Penny improvement projects funded by a 1 percent sales tax referendum County voters approved in 2012. Additionally, the project will connect to the Polo Road shared-use path, a project previously completed with Transportation Penny funds.

For more information about active and completed Transportation Penny projects, important event dates and other Penny news, visit www.richlandpenny.com

Intersection Redesign at Percival, Screaming Eagle Roads Completed Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget

(Richland PIO) – Richland County has finished construction of a redesigned intersection at Percival and Screaming Eagle roads in Northeast Richland. The project, which began construction in October 2022, was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The $2.5 million completion cost comes in considerably less than the initial estimated budget of $3.1 million.

The project is one of many transportation improvements funded by the Richland County Transportation Penny program, based on a 1 percent sales tax referendum County voters approved in 2012.

“With funding support by the Transportation Penny from Richland County residents, the support of Richland County Council, and the outstanding planning and oversight of our Transportation team, we were able to keep this project running ahead of schedule, saving time and money,” said Michael Maloney, Richland County Public Works director. “More importantly, for motorists, the project makes this intersection safer, increases traffic capacity and improves traffic flow.”

The scope of the project called for realigning Screaming Eagle Road to bring the angle of the intersection closer to 90 degrees, improving safety for drivers. Screaming Eagle Road was widened, with left- and right-turn lanes added to improve capacity and traffic flow, and Percival Road was widened to add a new left-turn lane onto Screaming Eagle Road.

Find out the status of other Transportation Penny projects online at RichlandPenny.com.

Richland County to Host Community Drop-in on Pineview Road Widening

(Richland PIO) – An upcoming informational drop-in meeting will update Richland County residents on planned upgrades to Pineview Road, south of Columbia. By widening parts of Pineview between Shop and Garners Ferry roads, the County aims to relieve road congestion in the area.

The informal meeting will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 20 at the C.R. Neal Dream Center, 2441 Atlas Road, Columbia. Attendees can review the project’s redesign plans at their convenience, talk with County Transportation staff about the project, and give feedback.

Proposed improvements to Pineview Road include widening the road from two lanes, one in each direction, to three lanes between Shop and Garners Ferry roads. The added lane will be a two-way independent left-turn lane along the length of the roadway. A new traffic signal at Pineview Road and American Italian Way is also planned.

“This project improves the intersections and the pavement in the area and adds a middle lane to help keep the traffic moving between Garners Ferry Road and Shop Road,” said Michael Maloney, Richland County Transportation director.

County staff have not yet established a timeline for the improvements, but construction is projected to start in 2024.

In addition to the June 20 meeting, residents can provide input in the following ways:

For more about the proposed improvements, visit the Transportation Department’s Projects page: www.richlandcountysc.gov/Government/Departments/Transportation-Penny/Projects.

Richland County’s North Main Street Widening Set for Ribbon Cutting

(Richland PIO) – Richland County will soon open a 1.7-mile stretch of North Main Street, the culmination of a multi-phase Penny project. Construction on the project extends from Anthony Avenue to Fuller Avenue, just north of downtown Columbia.

In addition to widening and repaving the stretch of roadway, upgrades from the work include:

  • Improved intersections, particularly at North Main Street and Monticello Road
  • Imprinted and textured pavement stamping for designated crosswalks
  • Landscaping improvements
  • Street lighting to improve nighttime safety
  • Improved pedestrian routes
  • Overhead utilities relocated underground

“The construction phases for the widening and intersection project were a culmination of efforts by many professionals,” said Michael Maloney, Richland County Transportation director. “The City of Columbia commissioned the design, and the Richland County Penny brought it to construction. The many entities involved have delivered a great improvement.”

In addition to $35.4 million in funding from the County’s Penny program, this project was also funded through:

  • $16.7 million from a federal TIGER discretionary grant
  • $1.3 million from federal legislation
  • $5.8 million from the City of Columbia for water and sewer work

At a news conference at 11 a.m. Monday, April 24, County representatives, Transportation staff and other local leaders will share details from the project while offering insight and answering questions. The news conference will be at 950 Jackson Ave., Columbia, with parking available at Hyatt Park.

To arrange coverage, email Susan O’Cain, Richland County’s director of communications, by 5 p.m. Friday, April 21: o’cain.susan@richlandcountysc.gov.

For more about Transportation improvements, visit www.richlandcountysc.gov/transportation or call 844-RCPENNY.

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