County leaders break ground on long-anticipated Blythewood road expansion

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Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 12:29 AM EDT
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BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (WIS) - County leaders broke ground on a major construction project today.

The plan is to expand Blythewood road from two lanes to five. It’ll also add a roundabout.

County leaders stressed the idea of this project is to ease the heavy traffic flow.

The changes are going to be from I-7 to Syrup Mill Road.

Officials say these plans have been in the works long before the incentive from Scout Motors even was a thought.

Right now, construction workers are in the pre-construction phase of the project and clearing out debris so they can begin moving utility lines.

“It’ll be a little while before we start because those utility reconstructions have to be done. So, even though we’re living in a rural area, there are buried fiber optics and telephone lines. So, those have to get into their new easements and then the widening can begin,” said Michael Maloney, the Director of County Transportation.

Widening the road will mean turning the two-lane area into five lines by adding two outside lanes and then one center lane.

A roundabout will also be added to help with the heavy traffic flow we see on Blythewood Road.

“The traffic congestion can be a nightmare just coming through here. So, I would definitely welcome more lanes because it would definitely benefit the people here,” said Mary Broughton, who travels through Blythewood.

The project will consist of adding a 10-foot concrete shared-use pad on both sides of the road.

The shared-use pad will be for pedestrians, golf carts, and bikers.

Director of County Transportation Micheal Maloney says once the widening gets into full swing there will be some delays for people who live in the area.

“It’s a two-lane road now. So, we’ll keep that going during construction. So, there’s various phases of traffic control that the contractor bid on. So, the engineer had designed that in the project here’s how the contractor would move traffic. Will widen it. Will widen the outer lanes, and will move traffic to that. We’ll deconstruct the inner lanes and we’ll kind of move them from position to position,” said Maloney.

County officials stated during the groundbreaking ceremony how the project would open up doors to more economic growth in the area.

“It’s a two-fold for Blythewood right now. It’s a very exciting time for Blythewood but it’s also a very scary time. Some people are afraid that their quality of life will be diminished,” said Derrek Pugh, District 2 Councilman.

Director Maloney also told WIS that contractors for this project began construction earlier than he thought.

Officials are planning on construction wrapping up in 2025 but they are expecting to be done much sooner.

Construction is set to start sometime in the fall whenever the pre-construction ends.

We’re still excited about the economic growth and were still working very hard to make sure the quality of life is not diminished and we’re continuing to provide the infrastructure in order for us to be successful in the area of Blythewood,” said Pugh.

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