A long-awaited, major highway project in York County is rolling toward construction, which could start next month. But the move comes at a $12 million cost to other roads slated for improvements.
York County Council approved a construction bid of $29.93 million for road widening and bridge replacements at S.C. 274 and Pole Branch Road in Lake Wylie. Improvements there were the second highest county priority when voters approved the Pennies for Progress one-cent sales tax for road improvements in 2011.
Construction should start in late April or early May.
“We’re very glad to see this project getting ready to look like it’s starting construction,” said Billy Hagner of York and past member of a Pennies for Progress citizens committee.
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The only problem with the Lake Wylie project was there was less than $18 million left on the budget, and $12.1 million more is needed.
The county borrowed from two other Pennies 3 projects, funded from the same 2011 vote. Almost $6 million came from the multi-lan e widening of Mount Gallant Road, and the rest from S.C. 72 widening, both in Rock Hill.
Patrick Hamilton, program manager for Pennies, said moving the money won’t impact those projects.
“We knew we were going to be pulling funding from those projects when we were setting budgets for Pennies 4,” he said.
That vote, last fall, approved a sales tax extension expected to generate almost $278 million. The first $60 million listed on that ballot was for carryover projects from Pennies 3 including Mount Gallant and S.C. 72.
“The $12 million was expected and planned for in setting the $60 million amount that was included on Pennies 4, to complete Pennies 3 projects,” Hamilton said.
So far seven of the 24 projects listed from the 2011 vote have been completed. Four more are expected to be finished this year.
The county expects to have construction of S.C. 274 and Pole Branch Road in Lake Wylie complete by 2020.
The Mount Gallant widening, budgeted at $26.3 million, should wrap up by 2022. The same year the budgeted $20.65 million S.C. 72 project should be complete.