Drivers heading south on I-77 next year will have more than roller coasters and the Plaza Fiestas colorful exterior to signal theyve arrived in York County and South Carolina.
York County officials plan to spend up to $100,000 to build a sign at Exit 90 southbound welcoming visitors. They also want the public to help choose what the sign at the Carwowinds exit will look like.
After a design is selected, the S.C. Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the project, will begin the permitting and construction process. The sign may be complete by next fall, said Alison Rowland, a York County long-range planner.
Taking input from a 12-member volunteer committee, county planners have come up with three designs for the brick and mortar structure, Rowland said.
Ranging between 24 feet to 48 feet in length, and 11 feet to 16 feet in height, the proposals include columns and imagery of green space and blue sky with a sun in the background. The look is consistent with the branding found on York Countys website and documents.
The committee wanted specific themes, including a Piedmont brick, or darker brick color, columns, and an arch that was reminiscent of the county logo, she said.
To pay for the sign, the county received a $70,000 grant from state Department of Transportation, and more than $30,000 will come from a pool of transportation dollars York County Council members receive each year from gas tax revenues to use in their districts.
In 2010 the county approved a plan for guiding development in the fast-growing region just south of Mecklenburg County. The gateway sign was recommended in the plan.
Being so close to Charlotte, the Carowinds Boulevard area has entertainment and hotels, business parks, residential areas and potential for future growth.
County officials are asking the public to give input on their preference for the sign in a public meeting on Thursday in Fort Mill.
Theres also a survey available through the countys website or at www.surveymonkey.com/s/Exit90.
Jamie Self 803-329-4062