Plans are underway to replace the Hwy. 21 bridge over the Catawba River and widen Hwy. 21 from Sutton Road in Fort Mill to Faith Boulevard in Rock Hill.
The S.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the Fort Mill High School commons area and auditorium.
Plans for the project include upgrading the bridge, which DOT officials said is showing signs of aging and structural inadequacy, and widening Hwy. 21 to relieve traffic congestion and to improve traffic flow.
The DOT is working together with York County to complete both projects. The bridge replacement will be financed with federal dollars in the bridge construction fund, while the widening of Hwy. 21 is a Pennies for Progress project financed with a portion of county sales tax revenue.
In 2008, AAA ranked York County as one of the highest in South Carolina for substandard bridges. The Hwy. 21 bridge was ranked 43 among the state's worst bridges. Project Manager Sid Bacchus of the SCDOT did not immediately return calls for comment.
State representative Carl Gullick (R-Lake Wylie) said plans for the bridge included four lanes to allow smoother traffic flow across the Catawba.
"What we've got is one corridor, and that is I-77, and if you have a wreck or anything like that, traffic is diverted to [Hwy.] 21, which is not at all designed to have that traffic," Gullick said.
The first hour of the meeting will be an informal drop-in, giving residents time to review plans for the bridge replacement and road widening. Representatives from SCDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and York County will be available to discuss the project.
At 6 p.m., a presentation will be given about the project, the projected timeline and the anticipated impact on the community. Public comments will be allowed after the presentation.
Anyone interested in commenting should sign up between 5 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Each comment will be limited to two minutes.