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An inconvenient route

A mini van carrying a canoe turns on Adnah Church Road by TC's Shaved Ice on Sunday. TC's owner Tommy Hurst says a proposed change for the Adnah Church Road intersection would drive away Sunday boat traffic and hurt his business.
A mini van carrying a canoe turns on Adnah Church Road by TC's Shaved Ice on Sunday. TC's owner Tommy Hurst says a proposed change for the Adnah Church Road intersection would drive away Sunday boat traffic and hurt his business.

Boaters often stop at TC's Shaved Ice and Party Rentals in Newport on their way from Lake Wylie. They pull in the front entrance and leave by way of Adnah Church Road to get back on S.C. 161.

But TC's co-owner Tommy Hurst worries that the boater business could soon slow or stop if planned road changes aren't halted.

His neighbor, William Alexander, who runs Alexander's Select Produce on S.C. 161, isn't happy with the road changes either.

The proposed change, part of "Pennies for Progress," would close the intersection of Adnah Church Road and S.C. 161. Traffic can then reach the two businesses from S.C. 161 or by going in the rear by way of Hands Mill Road Extension that will connect Adnah Church.

Adnah Church Road, which runs between the two establishments, will become a driveway with a cul-de-sac for turning around.

The change is being made so traffic is regulated by the light at the intersection of S.C. 274 and S.C. 161, according to planners with Capital Management and Engineering, which designed the change.

"What we are doing with this whole improvement process is trying to make Adnah Church Road, as well as the access across S.C. 161, safer," said Myron George of CME. "Those movements are better controlled with the signal."

In addition, it's difficult for vehicles to turn left from Adnah Church onto S.C. 161, and there isn't enough room between it and the intersection with S.C. 274 to put in another set of lights, George said.

But Hurst says the changes will force people who are towing boats to drive around the block to get out of TC's. He's also worried he'll lose his Sunday boat traffic.

"I take food deliveries with 18-wheeler trucks, and they won't be able to get out," he said. "They'll have to go all the way around the block just to go back to Rock Hill. That's not convenient."

Hurst also is concerned about the extra time it would take emergency response teams to get to homes when the intersection of Adnah Church and S.C.161 is closed. He wonders what would happen if there was an accident at the new intersection. By blocking the exit at Adnah Church Road, a secondary route is eliminated, he said.

"I don't think people understand that, or there would be a big stink about it," he said.

Alexander said closing the intersection will mean he's not on a corner anymore. "Anybody in business knows that corner business is better than one-street business," he said.

He dismisses claims that the new intersection at Hands Mill Extension and S.C. 274 would be safer. None of his customers have had an accident pulling away from his stand, he said. Most accidents he has seen have occurred at the intersection of S.C. 161 and S.C. 274, where traffic would be redirected.

"The idea is that one intersection can handle the traffic of two intersections more safely," he said. "I don't have to be an engineer to know that's wrong."

But with the growth that is coming as business develops along the highway, something has to be done to make it safer, particularly with the Wal-Mart planned on S.C. 161 in Newport, George said.

Traffic on Adnah Church Road is expected to increase by about 80 percent by 2026, George said.

Pennies for Progress uses a 1-cent local sales tax to fund road improvements. Residents who have concerns about the new construction have until Thursday to send their comments to CME.

Hurst and Alexander both said they plan to write letters.

"When I voted for Pennies for Progress, which is paying for all this, I didn't vote to close that road off," Hurst said. "I'm trying to find that road closure on that list of projects I voted for and I have yet to find it."

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