PLAN AHEAD: Clemson Road construction could extend commute times

PLAN AHEAD: Clemson Rd construction could extend commute times

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - When it comes to the construction kickoff on Clemson road, drivers are already coming to terms with the fact that they need to be prepared.

“I’m going to have to get up early,” said Rick Watkins who often takes Clemson Road during his daily commute. “There’s no doubt about that. Not happy about that idea either.”

The barrels are out, and crews will be starting construction at 9 a.m. Monday to begin the expansion of Clemson Road to five lanes.

Other upgrades include intersection improvements at Clemson Road and Sparkleberry Lane and a sidewalk from Clemson Frontage road to Percival Road.

Commuters like Watkins say they’re happy for the improvements they just wish the hours were different.

“If they’re going to do work on the highways, or really any street, it really should be done at night,” Watkins said. “Or when there’s the least amount of traffic or the least amount of disruption. I mean, I’m excited for better traffic flow of course, but I’m not really in favor of doing it at 9 o’clock in the morning.”

This will be paid for with funding from the Penny Transportation Tax in Richland County, and drivers say the area is in need of much-needed updates.

But with traffic already congested on Clemson Road, some parents are wondering how they’ll handle the longer commute.

“For the short-term, we are going to suffer,” Eden Yohannes joked as she discussed the extended commute with kids in the car. “They’ll need some food, some snacks, but who’s going to clean my car?!”

County officials say drivers can expect lane closures with flagging operations slowing things down to one lane.

Drivers say it’s not ideal, but it’s for the greater good.

“Just stay calm,” Watkins said. “Don’t worry about it. It’s only a moment in time. We’ll all get through it.”

Construction crews will be on the scene Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The completion date for those Clemson Road construction projects is estimated to be in early 2021.

It’s probably best to make a new driving playlist, and plan to get comfortable.

Copyright 2019 WIS. All rights reserved.