Work set to begin on Hwy. 14 repaving

Published 1:58 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2008

&dquo;It is good news,&dquo; Walker said. &dquo;The S.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) will start next weekend.&dquo;

He urged drivers to be patient. &dquo;There is going to be some inconvenience,&dquo; he said.

The project will proceed instages. Walker said first the old pavement will be ground down. Then patching will be done, and finally the road will be repaved. There will be no widening.

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However, Walker said the project is needed because the road is in a dire state of disrepair.

&dquo;This will be a great thing,&dquo; he said. &dquo;It will help the city.&dquo;

Walker met with DOT engineers last week to go over some &dquo;problems areas,&dquo; the turning area at Shamrock and Hwy. 14, the confusing turning directions near the Twin Palmetto restaurant, and the drainage at Poplar and Hwy. 14.

By refurbishing this last mile, the S.C. DOT will complete a project Walker fought for during his tenure as state representative. He was defeated in the Republican primary last spring by Joey Millwood. Walker said he was glad that the road project appears now to be scheduled for completion before his term in office ends this year.

The roadwork on Rutherford Street/Hwy. 14 began in the summer of 2005 when the S.C. DOT began adding a turning lane from Redland Road to I-26, sidewalks, a bike lane and two traffic lights, one at Fairwinds Road and another at Campbell Avenue.

Due to the cost of rights-of-way in that area, the original project budget skyrocketed to $4 million from an estimated $1.8 million, and not enough money could be found to complete the entire project.

The bridge over I-26 received structural repairs and was repaved last spring.

Jerry Siddons, former chairman of the Landrum Downtown Beautifucation Committee, said Walker was also instrumental in securing several direct state appropriations for the Landrum beautification efforts over the past ten years.

These were secured to help install the park along Trade Avenue and the new streetlights downtown.

Walker said he still wishes he could get the &dquo;hump&dquo; at the railroad crossing smoothed out to make that main intersection in Landrum &dquo;nice, and easy to navigate,&dquo; but he said it is hard to negotiate with the railroads. That project will be left to his successor