Drivers agree: expansion work on Hard Scrabble Road is well over - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Drivers agree: expansion work on Hard Scrabble Road is well overdue

Plans to expand parts of Hard Scrabble Road are in the works. The multi-million-dollar project is being paid for, in part, through the Richland County Penny Tax Program. (Source: WIS) Plans to expand parts of Hard Scrabble Road are in the works. The multi-million-dollar project is being paid for, in part, through the Richland County Penny Tax Program. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Plans to expand parts of Hard Scrabble Road are in the works. The multi-million-dollar project is being paid for, in part, through the Richland County Penny Tax Program.

Drivers say this is a highly congested area, especially during rush-hour traffic. The Department of Transportation is hoping to solve that problem by adding more lanes.

“It’s a very exciting day for the folks that live, work, play around the Hard Scrabble Road area,” Richland County Councilman Jim Manning said.

Digging in their shovels, multiple public figures joined forces for this $56 million project.

“We hear from the citizens that they want different levels of government to work together,” Manning said.

And they did, with county council members, members of Congress, school board members and the department of transportation all showing support at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

“This is a very congested area. Traffic backs up a lot. We have two schools in the area, that are right next to each other. So, especially during that school time traffic can really back up," SCDOT Program Manager Jennifer Necker says. "So, it’s a well-needed project.”

Mike Barczak says he’s been driving down Hard Scrabble Road for the last eight years.

“Every day, multiple times a day. I know in the mornings it could take me a good 45 minutes just to get to the interstate from Lake Carolina," Barczak said. "It should be a 15-minute drive.”

Part of the project will be paid for with the Richland County Penny Tax. SCDOT will cover the rest. Crews will expand Hard Scrabble Road from Farrow Road to Kelly Mill Road.

“Two lanes in each direction, plus that center turn lane that will allow people to turn off. That will greatly alleviate,” Necker said.

Plus, they are accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“I think it’s going to help a lot. They should’ve done it about ten years ago and it’s going to be a lot of hassle. I’ll be interested to see how bad it is in between when they’re doing it but yeah, it’s going to help a lot,” Barczak said.

“As somebody who travels Hard Scrabble Road, daily, I can tell you that it’s going to be a little messy at times – a little inconvenient – but I think the community understands the need for the expansion," State Senator Mia McLeod says.

“This is what you voted for and we are happy to be here today breaking the ground to provide for you what you told us you wanted,” Manning said.

The project is expected to be complete sometime in 2020. Right now, DOT is asking drivers to be patient and safe while driving in the area. They say in the end, it will all be worth it. 

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