Mauldin residents voice concerns about a proposed Butler Rd. improvement project

Local News

MAULDIN, SC (WSPA) — Some people in Maudlin voiced their concerns about a South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) improvement project at a public information meeting on Thursday night.

The plan for an area along Butler Road has been in the works for awhile, and has been met with pushback by some in the community who don’t want to lose portions of their land.

The SCDOT released its first initial proposed plan for the Butler Road Improvements project back in January.

According to SCDOT the purpose of the project is to “improve the operational efficiency, including improvements to the existing bicycle-pedestrian facilities, along East Butler Road between US 276 (N. Main Street) to the Mauldin Senior Center entrance.”

Since the meeting in January, some people said they have been worried.

“Well I’m concerned, no one should be losing their home because of a road project, especially, this one. I feel like there should be alternatives where people’s home’s are not impacted and being taken away, and that doesn’t need to be the case,” said Joel Ann Chandler, Owner of the Mauldin Open-Air Market. “I’m not an engineer, but they should be able to do something to improve the situation without having to surrender people’s homes to do that,” she said.

Pete Poore, with SCDOT, said the proposed road improvements project is about $17 million, and 1.7 miles in length. On Thursday, SCDOT released revisions to address people’s concerns.  

“So, we’ve have taken their comments, their questions, their concerns, from January up until now. so this is the revised plan,” said Poore, Director of Communication, SCDOT. So, what they’re looking at tonight is, the changes. Some of the changes were general comments about drainage,” Poore said. “So, some changes have been made. In the original plan, there were 10 relocations, now their are only seven. Three of those are businesses. Four of those are residential, and of the four residential, one of them is the Summer Woods HOA. They’re going to get a new swimming pool,” Poore said. “There were some drainage concerns, those have been addressed. I can’t tell you that 100 percent of the concerns have been addressed, but their have been significant changes and improvements made on that issue.”

The SCDOT document shows they have eliminated the following relocations:

  • eliminated relocations in Mauldin Mobile Home Park
  • eliminated relocations on Fargo Street
  • right-of-way reduced from 14 acres to 10 acres

7News spoke with some people who stated they will be impacted.

“They’re going to take everything out in the front,” said Cole Adcock, resident.

Adcock is renting a home from Dennis Raines’ family.

“This house here, will have to be relocated, and my wife’s mom and dad lived there until they were 96, both of them. And so that house would be relocated, and SCDOT has already talked to us a little bit about that,” Raines said, a property owner. “They already marked it on the plans, that they would actually relocated that home to the backside of that garage apartment and that the state would take care of funding that,” Raines said. “I understand why this project needs to be done,” he said.

“We’re really not widening the road. We are widening the intersections by putting turn lanes in. So, Butler Road itself is not being widening, but each intersection within the project area will have turn lanes to make traffic flow better,” Poore said.

“It’s definitely needed with the traffic flow problem that we’re having. that’s what they’re telling me. this fixes the traffic flow issue,” said Mayor Terry Merritt, City of Maudlin. “If you’re coming down a three lane road and you’re making a right turn, everybody behind you got to stop until you get turned right. Well by making right turn lanes, and left turn lanes, the center lane keeps flowing,” Merritt said.

The current plan also includes a 10 feet wide multi-use path for bikers and walkers. A SCDOT representative said the path will start at Mauldin City Park and goes to the end of the project, at Murray Drive.

According to SCDOT’s release, “In addition, the project is anticipated to take right-of-way from a public park owned by the City of Mauldin (Mauldin Park) for the road improvements. Based on the project’s proposed use of the park, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) intends to make a de minimis (minimal impact) finding for the project. SCDOT is coordinating with the City of Mauldin and would improve access to the park with the proposed improvements. This meeting will also be held to provide information and receive comments on the proposed de minimis finding.”

“It’s unfortunate, but I feel like it’s probably going to be necessary.  Just because of the amount of traffic and the building they’re doing around the city. It’s getting congested. I just hope they make a plan that’s good for everybody,” Adcock said. “Whatever choice they make choice they make, I hope it benefits the city. Wish them the best. I know it’s a tough decision for everybody.”

Mayor Merritt said he does have some concerns, but adds that the plans will be for best.

“Sure. I do, but I think the overall design, we’ve got to take it. We’ve got to get what we can get, and we can’t wait another 14 years for them to do anything else,” Merritt said. “So it’s the best we can come up with, with their engineers, the money, the federal requirements, and guidelines, they have to comply with, so let’s get it done and move on, and it will be better,” Merritt said.

Officials said the project includes other improvements, as well. Leaders said there’s still a process with this project.

“Timeline for this project is the plan is to get the environment document approved by this summer, July of 2022. Also, to get the right-of-way plan, meaning to set up the properties that we need to purchase and relocate the owners, if they’re living there or whatever they need to be relocated, that too, that plan is scheduled to be done by 2022. July of 2022,” Poore said. “The construction plan for the project is suppose to be set by July of 2023. So, we won’t see any construction until sometime in 2024,” Poore said. “There will be no ground broken until 2024.”

SC DOT will be accepting public comments online until December 10th. To comment and see the overall plan for this project, go to buildingabetterbutler.com.

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