LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) – The city of Laurens is requesting a $30 million grant from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), to construct or repair 19 miles of sidewalks. It is part of the program, Connect Laurens.

“Connect Laurens is intended to bring the city up to speed and really overhaul some outdated transportation infrastructure,” said Mayor Nathan Senn.

Mayor Senn said the city is focusing on creating sidewalks to connect neighborhoods with schools, recreation areas, and shopping centers.

“You can’t have a city where it’s built so that a person with a car is able to get their groceries easily as opposed to a person that doesn’t have those means,” said Senn.

The city also plans to make sidewalks more accessible for people with disabilities.

“Just right outside city hall, there are narrow sidewalks that were built in the ’30s or ’40s that have street poles that have been placed in the middle of them,” explained Senn. “You couldn’t get a wheelchair through that area if you wanted to.”

The city has identified several high-trafficked streets as areas that will receive new sidewalks if the funding is approved:

  • Hillcrest Drive
  • Fleming Street
  • Green Street
  • Fairground Road
  • Exchange Drive.

With more than 1,200 homes being built in Laurens over the next few years, the city said the time is now to make the city more accessible and safe. 

“We want to bring every part of the city, every community, to see some benefit to this,” said Senn.

If the city receives the grant, Senn said construction could begin in Fall 2023.