Landrum talks widening I-26 bridge, other issues with state rep

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

LANDRUM – Landrum City Council discussed several issues last week with S.C. Rep. Josiah Magnuson, including repairs that need to be made at the Hwy. 14 bridge over I-26.

Landrum City Council met Tuesday, June 13 and heard from Magnuson.

Magnuson (R) lives in Campobello and represents District 38.

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Magnuson began by talking about the state gas tax, which he voted against. He said it wasn’t clear how the money was going to be used and the wording was not specific enough. Magnuson also said his other issues were that the tax will not actually help with roads until 2019 likely, with the money going towards school credits and not towards roads initially.

Magnuson did say the gas tax will give the government more control over the state Department of Transportation (DOT), and he’s mildly optimistic South Carolina will get some fixes for the roads.

“What I have a commitment to you to do is to make sure the money raised goes towards the roads,” Magnuson said.

The new law raises the state’s gas tax, currently and through June 30 at 16.75 cents per gallon, by two cents per gallon each year for six years.

Magnuson also said he wanted to announce to Landrum two major fixes that will be happening in the area. He said the Mt. Lebanon Church Road bridge will be fixed as well as I-26 also being on the list for repairs from Inman to the North/South Carolina border.

Landrum Councilman Johnny Carruth asked about the Hwy. 14 bridge over I-26 being raised.

Landrum Mayor Bob Briggs said when the state came through and repaired all the bridges they repaired a lot along I-26, but not Exit 1 because that bridge needed more work.

“The rationale was that bridge needed more work so they skipped it to come back, but they didn’t come back,” Briggs said.

Discussion from the audience included that there was a recent Landrum Area Business Association discussion about the need to widen the I-26 bridge because of horse trailers and traffic going to the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).

Magnuson said it sounds like the bridge needs to be raised and widened.

Carruth said there have been some accidents there and suggested the need for a roundabout or a signal.

“I like roundabouts because of the way they slow traffic,” Carruth said.

Carruth also said a roundabout may not cost as much in the long run as a signal and said the roundabouts in Columbus work well and keep traffic moving there.

“A lot of people don’t like roundabouts but it may be because they don’t understand them,” Magnuson said.

One woman from the audience mentioned the World Equestrian Games coming to TIEC in 2018 bringing 500,000 people to the area so the state will want to make sure there is no construction in the area at that time.

Magnuson said unfortunately, he doesn’t think anything will be started by then.

Magnuson thanked the city for allowing him to serve and said he is new so he’s trying to keep in touch with everybody.

“I’ll try to do a good job and stand up for what’s right,” Magnuson said.

He also commended Landrum for its community spirit, speaking of several residents who attended the meeting. He said he really feels like the backbone of America is its local communities, like Landrum.

Magnuson invited the public to an ice cream social he is having at the Landrum Depot on Friday, June 23 at 6 p.m. Magnuson said everyone is invited to come and ask him questions.