South Carolina Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday that a proposal to four-lane the East-West Connector “is never going to get any cheaper” than $21 million, but added that it’s up to an Anderson committee to change the project that is now a two-lane road.
Design plans for a four-lane road with a turn lane were presented for the second time this week, this time at the Civic Center of Anderson, with project manager Tommy Elrod and Eddie Adams, the 3rd District representative on the S.C. Transportation Commission. The proposal to double the travel lanes on the connector gained support from the public-policy committee of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this week. But on Wednesday, the proposal was met with yelling and opposition from the people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the connector.
The latest connector plan includes crepe myrtles for landscaped medians, three-foot berms to muffle noise in residential areas, and a bike-and-pedestrian path lined with oak trees.
Both Elrod and Adams said it would take $15 million to build the connector as a four-lane road and to include landscaping. That figure does not include $6 million already spent on the project that paid for design plans and rights of way.
The three-mile road will connect Clemson Boulevard with S.C. 81 North and is intended to reduce traffic on Concord, Reed and Brown roads.
The proposal for a connector dates to the 1990s, and one design that shows it as a four-lane road with a turn lane is about a decade old. But the road was going to be built smaller because of budgetary constraints until the project recently qualified for another $4 million in federal stimulus money. With that money and the money already allocated to the project, $11.6 million would come from federal sources. The balance needed, $3.4 million, would have to come from the Anderson Area Transportation Study Committee’s allocation from the Department of Transportation.
To read more of this article from the Anderson Independent-Mail, click here: http://www.independentmail.com/news/2010/aug/04/neighbors-yell-protests-against-east-west-connecto/