DOT, Camden resident butt heads on project to widen York Street

DOT, Camden resident butt heads on project to widen York Street

CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - A South Carolina Department of Transportation project aimed at widening a tractor-trailer route in Camden continues to receive pushback from nearby residents.

The project begins at the intersection of York Street and Highway 521 in Camden. It continues for about a mile down York Street, eventually connecting into Highway 1. The DOT said the project is designed to widen York Street to allow for easier truck traffic and to allow trucks to bypass downtown Camden.

It also purchased a piece of land along York Street to allow the road to reach Highway 1 efficiently.

The DOT plans to widen the road from its existing 25 feet to about 50 feet in diameter, but doing so requires encroaching on nearby homes.

Blanche Scott lives on York Street and is upset with the city and state for allowing the DOT to dig up her side yard.

"They never approached me and told me what the project was," Scott said. "They told everyone else around here and had they told me, we could have had this issue resolved a while ago."

According to a letter written by the 1952 mayor of Camden, York Street was designated as having a 90' right of way. As a result, 45' from the center of the road, on both sides, is considered state property. The DOT said because of the right of way, it is able to widen York Street without touching private property.

"Currently it's only two lanes, but the new road will have a center turn lane, bike lanes and sidewalks on the sides of the street," Jason Fulmer, SCDOT Resident Construction Engineer, said. "This will improve safety for everyone and it's long overdue."

Scott contends the right of way on York Street is 30', according to her deed.

"It's heartbreaking," Scott said. "What took years to build only took a week to destroy. They got rid of my walkway, pillars, driveway, flowers and trees."

Construction began a few weeks ago, with the $6 million project slated to be complete by the end of 2018.

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