ROCK HILL — Rock Hill plans to move and rebuild a state-owned road to help move heavy truck traffic expected when a Ross Dress for Less distribution warehouse opens by 2017.
The road work could cost as much as $1.56 million dollars and is to be paid for mostly by money from a federal grant and from the state Department of Transportation.
Paddock Parkway a short road off U.S. 21/South Anderson Road will be moved to accommodate trucks going to and from the distribution center and increased auto traffic from nearly 900 employees Ross plans to hire.
Rock Hills planning department estimates that 300 trucks will arrive at the warehouse daily once the 1.6-million-square-foot building is operational.
Future road work also will include adding sidewalks and improving the stormwater drainage system on both sides of the road.
The citys plan would connect Paddock Parkway with U.S. 21 at Lesslie Highway a three-way intersection with traffic lights already in place.
Paddock Parkway currently dead-ends at U.S. 21 between a Citgo gas station and a Wilco Travel Plaza truck stop less than 500 feet from its proposed intersection with Lesslie Highway.
Moving the road would provide for safer traffic flow, said Phil Okey, project manager with Rock Hills Economic and Urban Development office.
The current intersection of Paddock Parkway and U.S. 21 leaves drivers to turn left or right without a traffic signal, Okey said.
Jennifer Boone, manager of the BP Station at the corner of Lesslie Highway and U.S. 21, said she sees cars and big trucks battle it out every day in front of her store.
At peak morning rush hour, drivers headed to Interstate 77 from Lesslie or Catawba find congestion, Boone said, with cars stopped or barely creeping along for nearly a mile.
Once the warehouse opens, she said, traffic flow likely will get worse.
Rock Hills planning department says as many as 500 employees could be working at one time at the Ross warehouse.
The creation of jobs in Rock Hill, Boone said, is probably worth the added traffic inconvenience.
More people working in the Antrim Business Park also could be good for area restaurants, she said, like the Subway franchise inside her BP station.
Fast food spots like KFC and McDonalds on East Main Street/Albright Road between downtown and Ross distribution center, she said, probably will see increased business.
Ross has told the city it plans to extend Paddock Parkway even farther by the time the distribution center opens, Okey said.
That would connect Paddock Parkway to Galleria Boulevard providing an alternative to reaching Dave Lyle Boulevard without using I-77 or U.S. 21.
The Rock Hill City Council plans to hire a contractor for the project in November.
Contractors interested in building and moving Paddock Parkway likely will start submitting proposals by the end of 2013, Okey said.
Moving and improving Paddock Parkway could benefit other land owners with undeveloped property in the U.S. 21 business park, Okey said.
By the time its finished, Okey said, what people are going to see is a nice, modern city street.
Anna Douglas 803-329-4068