Who asked for a four-lane highway?

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Isn’t it great that our state government has so much money to spend that the DOT has allocated millions of dollars for a proposed four-lane highway between Columbus and Tryon.

It’s not like, “Do we really need that highway?” but that’s not what the powers to be really care about, they just have this project on their to-do list. And by the way, who asked for this four-lane highway to be built? Someone in our local government(s) must have requested it. Please raise your hand if it was you.

I wonder where these do-gooders were when we previously needed to widen the bridge that spans I-26? Their plan then was not to spend money on widening the bridge but to put in a roundabout designed such that made it necessary for trucks to drive over the curbs in order get through. With their latest plan that bridge and roundabout will be replaced as part of the super highway to nowhere. Is better late than never someone’s way of trying to save grace for previous shortcomings?

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As I look at what that highway will do for Polk County I had a hard time coming up with more than one positive item: it will fix the Columbus interchange that they didn’t fix correctly years ago.

However, the list of negative items I foresee is quite daunting. For example, what will be the effect on the small business owners on that road? I’ll bet they’ll love all the new traffic just whizzing by their shops.

And where will the land come from with the widening of the road, other than taking businesses’ parking places? I’m sure there’s money in the budget to compensate for their loss of business.

And then there’s the expense for widening of the bridge in Lynn. I wonder if that’s part of someone’s thinking that might give the post office a reason to close down that office? Then there’s the lack of land for road widening coming out of Columbus, and by the hospital, and between Lynn and Tryon, just to mention a few of the seven wonders of forward feasibility planning.

Assuming the powers to be really have solutions to all of the points I’ve discussed, I’m really at a loss on what happens when the highway arrives in Tryon with its 20 MPH speed limit? Now I know there’s a problem in putting four lanes through downtown Tryon so what’s the solution? Is the DOT going to reroute the road around the town or even better, build a bridge over the town? I really don’t think they’d do that. I know they’re not concerned about traffic problems in Tryon, that’s not their problem.

So I ask you, who is responsible for this fiasco? Oh, and by the way, from my experience the current road handles all the traffic with no bottle necks just in case nobody noticed.

Karl Kachadoorian, Tryon, N.C.