SCDOT hosts public hearing on Alligator Road widening project

Hundreds came out to South Florence High School Thursday night to make their opinions known about a plan to widen Alligator Road in Florence.
Hundreds came out to South Florence High School Thursday night to make their opinions known about a plan to widen Alligator Road in Florence.

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Hundreds came out to South Florence High School Thursday night to make their opinions known about a plan to widen Alligator Road in Florence.

“I’m hoping to see some safety measures implemented,” said Philip Quann, who lives on Alligator Road.

Quann,along with hundreds of his Alligator Road neighbors, want to make sure SC DOT knows they’ve got concerns about the planned widening.

Quann, an avid cyclist who said he rides his bike several miles to and from work each day, is worried there aren’t enough markings on the road to keep him and his fellow riders safe.

“I would prefer to see a dedicated bike lane with appropriate painted strips and appropriate signage to kind of mentally reinforce the need for safety for cyclists using the road,” Quann said.

Voters in Florence County signed off on the nearly $73.5 million project back in 2006 as part of the penny sales tax program.

“The purpose and need was to provide local connectivity and also relieve congestion on certain parts of Alligator Road,” said Brian Dix, project manager for SC DOT.

With other projects like the widening of Highway 378 nearing completion, SC DOT project manager Brian Dix said it’s time to make sure the public is comfortable with the plan, and make sure DOT takes any complaints into consideration.

“You always have to weigh the benefits of what you’re doing,” Dix said. “You might help one cause just to harm another, so we’ll definitely go back and see what we can do in certain areas.”

Right now, construction is set to begin in 2019, with a tentative date of 2021 for completion.

Many residents commented that they were okay with the plan, as long as construction did not hurt already poor drainage in the area.

“I think widening it will definitely help, so we definitely wanna make sure we hit the drainage as well,” Dix said.

Under the current plan, some homes will have to be relocated, something Dix said is a last resort.

“We’ll try to address their needs as best we can,” Dix explained. “At this point we never stop looking for opportunities to avoid relocation.”

Most who attended Thursday night’s meeting said they’re on board with the project and hope to see it cut down on traffic in the area.

“It’s a good idea,” Quann said. “I’m optimistic that it can be implemented in a way that will certainly be beneficial.”

DOT officials said even if you did not make Thursday night’s meeting, there’s still an opportunity for you to share your opinion on the project. You can always write to DOT or visit them online at http://www.scdot.org. They’ll be taking public comments on this project until December 16th.

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