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Blue-ribbon day for Fort Mill bypass Northern bypass facts

Fort Mill Mayor Charlie Powers hands a bow Thursday to Teria Sheffield, executive assistant to the York County manager, at the ribbon-cutting

dedication on the new bridge of the northern bypass. Below, Benny Wade, associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Fort Mill, walks across the northern bypass bridge. Wade delivered the prayer during the dedication ceremonies.
Fort Mill Mayor Charlie Powers hands a bow Thursday to Teria Sheffield, executive assistant to the York County manager, at the ribbon-cutting dedication on the new bridge of the northern bypass. Below, Benny Wade, associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Fort Mill, walks across the northern bypass bridge. Wade delivered the prayer during the dedication ceremonies.

FORT MILL -- A host of local dignitaries congratulated themselves and the people of York County on Thursday as Fort Mill's northern bypass -- a portion now called Springfield Parkway -- received its official ribbon-cutting.

York County Council members, Fort Mill Mayor Charlie Powers, state Sen. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill, state Rep. Carl Gullick, R-Lake Wylie, York County Chamber of Commerce President Rob Youngblood, representatives from the engineering and contracting companies that built the bypass and others gathered on the Steele Creek Bridge to celebrate.

Hayes lauded the interagency cooperation and community support it took to build the bypass.

Open for traffic since before the start of the school year, the bypass was 10 years in the making.

Powers and Gullick, then a county councilman, recounted their pleas to the S.C. Department of Transportation to retain money for the bypass a decade ago. When that proved futile, they went to York County voters in 1997 for a 1-cent sales tax in a program called "Pennies for Progress."

County Councilman Paul Lindemann, who represents Fort Mill, surveyed the bypass vista where leaves are just beginning to turn and said, "You can see what one penny can do in this county and this state."

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